Birmingham Airport Confirms Airspace Trial Commencement

Birmingham Airport can confirm that it will commence a six month airspace change trial starting on the 1st May 2014 to monitor and obtain further information in a live environment to support its existing Airspace Change Process. 

The Airspace Change Process will lead to a new departure flight path to the south of the Airport as a result of the runway extension development. The trial will help to understand the actual impact of two viable flight paths – known locally as Option 5 and Option 6 - rather than theoretical modelling and provide a real life case study to support the submission. 

The trial will commence on Thursday 1st May by operating the two flight path options over a six month period. Each route will operate monthly, alternating on the first day of each month. This will allow the Airport to gather three months data for each option. 


The Airport will assess the noise impact, track-keeping performance and operational impact of each route. The Airport intends to use its sophisticated noise and track-keeping system and a portable noise monitor. 

The Airport has also made a commitment to reduce its noise preferential routes from 3km to 2km as it is assumed that aircraft will fly more precisely using RNAV1 technology. The trial will allow the Airport to validate this. 

This trial is part of Birmingham Airport’s current Airspace Change application to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and will allow RNAV procedures to be tested objectively to assess the impact and give greater insight to help make a more informed decision on the most appropriate option. 

After considering two viable options in detail, the Airport submitted its preferred route, Option 5, to the CAA in August this year. The difference in the overall environmental and operational attributes of both routes considered (Option 5 and Option 6) were very marginal. 

Following the submission of the preferred route to the CAA, Birmingham Airport continued to receive high levels of feedback from the local community and was advised that other UK airports have been undertaking trials of flight paths. 

This trial is part of the existing Airspace Change application to the CAA and is not a further consultation. 

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