Glasgow Airport has launched a 13-week public consultation seeking feedback from residents in Renfrewshire on new proposals to modernise the airspace currently used by aircraft to fly to and from the airport.
Current flight paths in Renfrewshire and the Greater Glasgow area have been used since the 1960s. Around 80% of flights leave the airport Westbound over Linwood, Johnstone, Elderslie, Kilbarchan and Howwood because of wind conditions. The image below shows existing routes and the proposed new routes.
Photo: Proposed and current flight paths. View larger image.
The airport believes these paths are no longer fit for purpose.
The airspace change proposals form part of the UK Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), an industry-wide initiative driven by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
A key element of the FAS involves removing ground-based navigation aids across the UK and using state-of-the-art satellite navigation systems. The ground-based navigation aid which Glasgow Airport currently uses to guide aircraft to and from the airfield will be decommissioned in 2019.
The move to satellite-based navigational systems is thought to help reduce the amount of time planes queue, both in the air and on the ground, and reduce overall CO2 and fuel emissions.
Photo: Image shows departure flightpaths in pink and actual flight paths during 11th to 17th June 2017. View larger image.
Mark Johnston, operations director at Glasgow Airport, said: “The flight paths used at Glasgow Airport have not changed in over 50 years and, as is the case with the wider UK airspace infrastructure, they are simply no longer fit for purpose. We now need to ensure the way we manage our airspace matches the advancements that have been made in aircraft technology.
“Modern aircraft are now equipped to use satellite navigation meaning they can fly more efficient, reliable and direct routes. In moving to this new system, not only will we be able to improve the punctuality of flights, we will be able to reduce the amount of fuel burn from aircraft at Glasgow by over 4,000 tonnes. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent amount of fuel an A320-200 aircraft would require to operate 1,370 flights between Glasgow and Frankfurt. This, in turn, will allow us to reduce CO2 emissions by 21% (12,910 tonnes).
“It is important to stress we will only make changes to the approach or departure flight paths once we have considered the views of all those who respond to the airspace change consultation. We will host a number of drop-in sessions over the course of the coming months and all views will then be presented to our regulator, the CAA, before the necessary approval can be granted.”
Mark Johnston added: “We are fully committed to growing the airport responsibly and modernising our airspace will help us achieve that. It is important that our communities and stakeholders are fully involved in this modernisation process and we would encourage people to participate.”
West of Scotland Green MSP, Ross Greer, said: “It’s ludicrous for Glasgow Airport to claim more flights mean less emissions.
“For our communities, this means more air & noise pollution and a bigger contribution to the climate crisis. It must be stopped.”
If you would like to take part and give your views, or read more information on the consultation, go to https://www.glasgowairport.com/airspace.
You can view the full Airspace Consultation document here.