[3]Modernised Airspace Structures[/3]

2 Terminal Airspace Structures Generally

The nature of terminal airspace structures varies significantly across the FIR. Whilst London airport airspace is compact and heavily used, some other, mainly regional airports have significantly larger CAS for their traffic volume and much of that is under-utilised. Moreover the basis upon which recent areas of controlled airspace expansion have been granted have now proved to be questionable in hindsight so a review conducted under the auspices of the FAS VFR Implementation Plan would present an opportunity to rectify these. At the same time, anecdotal evidence suggests that VFR access to some under-utilised airspace is difficult and is likely to become more so with the introduction of SERA. It is perverse that it is easier to get a VFR or SVFR clearance through the Heathrow CTR than it is through that of many quiet regional airports. Heathrow has the incentive borne of its national hub status but some other airports see VFR traffic as a nuisance. There is no effective regulatory requirement to redress this imbalance.

Terminal airspace should be necessary and sufficient for its task, and in the light of PBN development could include VFR operations as part of its core traffic consideration, particularly where the base and extent of controlled airspaces could be optimised. Funding arrangements identified as part of SESAR Deployment means that from 2015, such reviews, if aligned with PBN development are eligible up to 50%.

LAA discussion here