Air Space Change (ACP)

Modernising our Skies


What is airspace?

Airspace is in effect the sky above us. Infrastructure has been developed to allow aircraft to operate safely as they arrive and depart at larger airports and indeed smaller airfields. The airspace is divided into controlled and uncontrolled airspace. The basic difference is that in controlled airspace air traffic controllers are there to issue instructions and advice to enable the safe operation of air traffic. Edinburgh Airport lies in the Scottish Terminal Manoeuvring Area (STMA) which is class D airspace. To fly inside this airspace aircraft need to carry a minimum of equipment and need to obtain a clearance from Air traffic Control (ATC). In uncontrolled airspace there is a wide variety of aviation happening from microlight activity, to paradropping and military operations. ATC may still operate here but aircraft are not required to carry certain equipment and there is more freedom of operation here for pilots. More information about the classes of airspace and the differences between them can be found here.

What is CAP1616?

CAP 1616 (Civil Aeronautical Publication 1616) is the guidance to be followed to enable the airspace change process to be carried out to completion. It is a public document and available on the CAA website here. The document details the 7 stage process for airspace change implementation and is outlined in the answer to the next question.

Where can I find out more and be kept up to date on this process?

Documentation submitted to the CAA may beviewed via the CAA ACP Portal below

You may also contact us via the following email address

What is the airspace change process?

The airspace change process is the regulatory process required for changing airspace design. This can involve changes to controlled airspace dimensions, classification of airspace and changes to the flightpaths and routes that aircraft take. The Department for Transport (DfT) are responsible for all aviation policy in the UK and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are responsible for its regulation and the approval of any airspace change plans. Edinburgh Airport is responsible for the airspace up to a height of 7000 feet and National Air Traffic services (NATS) take responsibility above 7000 feet. Guidance on the regulatory process for changing the notified airspace design and planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic, and on providing airspace information can be found in CAP 1616.


Is there a public consultation?

There will be a public consultation as part of this process and this takes place during Stage 3 which will be early 2024