Written statement to Parliament

Civil Aviation Authority environmental objectives

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Environmental objectives in air navigation functions to be updated.

Updating the 2002 guidance to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on environmental objectives relating to the exercise of its air navigation functions

When the CAA is exercising its air navigation functions it is required under the Transport Act 2000 to take account of environmental guidance given to it by the Secretary of State for Transport. The current guidance was issued in 2002 by the then Department for Transport, Local Government and Regions.

The CAA has been able to take account of the guidance to make decisions on over 70 proposals for airspace change over the last nine years. The guidance recommends that the CAA keeps abreast of current government policy including on planning, sustainable development and noise as well as guidance issued by the devolved administrations.

Given the length of time since the guidance was published, and the recommendations of Sir Joseph Pilling in his July 2008 strategic review of the CAA and the Transport Select Committee in its 2009 report on the Use of Airspace, the government recognises the need to update the guidance to reflect current government policy, including on issues such as noise and climate change. This will be done next year following development of the sustainable framework for UK aviation and will include a public consultation so that all views can be heard on this important subject.

In the interim the Department for Transport is publishing today a technical addendum to the guidance. The addendum updates references and lists relevant policy documents and legislation published since 2002 that the CAA takes into account when considering airspace change proposals.