Modernising our airspace among the most pressing of tasks, says Transport Secretary

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Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is expected to say that modernising our airspace to meet the demands of the 21st century is “among the most pressing of tasks”.

Speaking at the Airport Operators Association annual dinner today (5 March 2019), the Transport Secretary will set out that our airspace is structured for the propeller driven planes of the 1950s, and is not efficient enough to meet the demands of the jet age.

He will say that reforming our airspace is vital so that:

  • We can make better use of new technology to cut aircraft noise and carbon emissions
  • Passengers can continue to enjoy good value flights to the widest possible range of destinations
  • Holidaymakers’ long-awaited breaks are not wrecked by flights that fail to leave on time

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Like our infrastructure on the ground, reforming the way we use our airspace is vital if we want to help deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys for passengers and businesses.

Last year the government set out our clear support and political backing for airspace modernisation. Airports will now be engaging with local communities to ensure they gain a deeper understanding of this complex yet crucial issue.

Today’s speech plainly demonstrates the government’s support for the long term national airspace modernisation programme, with formal consultations starting in 2021 led by airports and NATS, the leading air traffic control services provider.

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