Public consultation begins for arrival route changes at London Luton Airport

(Photo: LLA)

The commencement of negotiations to modify the approaches began earlier this week

A public consultation to help determine new arrival routes for flights into London Luton Airport opened this week, offering residents and local communities the opportunity to have their say and shape the outcome.

Arrival routes and holds are shared between Luton and London Stansted which, the former says is no longer sustainable due to the size of both airports. This combined approach means that if there is a delay at one of the sites then the other will also be affected.

Sponsors of the new initiative, NATS and LLA, are currently reviewing two potential options.

The first suggests that performance based navigation (PBN) technology is used at higher altitudes to ensure the separation of arrivals at both airports. The implementation of air traffic controllers would also aid aircraft with decent from around 8,000ft and above.

Alternatively, the second possibility allows for the availability of PBN to be extended to the final approach. This should then allow for a more predictable distribution of flights.

(Photo: LLA)

Meetings and proposals will take place in the form of webinars and virtual seminars to comply with the COVID-19 restrictions. It is hoped that this form of communication will enable local communities, businesses and MPs to all have their say regarding the plans.

These proposals will also affect broader areas of the UK, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk.

(Photo: LLA)

Neil Thompson, operations director at LLA, believes community input regarding the proposals is crucial: “Any airspace change can have impacts for a wide variety of people. Local communities may be affected by noise, airlines will see a change to the routes that they fly and local airspace users may see changes too.”

He added: “It’s now really important that we hear from the wider community during the 15-week consultation.”

The discussion began on Monday and is set to continue until early February of next year.