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Airport completes consultation on changes to Luton and Stansted airspace

A strategy to improve safety for aircraft landing at Stansted Airport has taken a further step forward.

Luton Airport has published the responses to its proposals for change in the region's airspace.

The two airports – which were among the five busiest in the UK before the coronavirus pandemic – currently share the same arrival flows to the same holds above Royston in North Herts and Sudbury in Suffolk.

Luton and Stansted Airport proposed airspace changes (48097282)
Luton and Stansted Airport proposed airspace changes (48097282)

In periods when air traffic controllers' workload is predicted to become too intensive, safety dictates that temporary limits – known as flow restrictions – are applied to the numbers of aircraft a controller can manage.

This causes delays for passengers at both Luton and Stansted and is only a short-term, temporary solution to the underlying problem. Holding patterns for aircraft also cause environmental damage as they burn more fuel.

Stansted bosses have backed Luton plans to separate the arrivals and create safe, predictable routes into each airport which in turn need less intervention from air traffic controllers.

If the new plans go ahead, there will be no changes to Stansted arrivals or departures and Luton's take-offs will remain the same, but a new hold for Luton would be located above Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

The next step is to update the airspace designs and to submit them to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) for assessment and a decision.

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