A mass consultation is set to take place in the aviation industry as attempts are made to redraw the aircraft route map of south-east England and make for more sustainable air traffic handling.
The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has announced it is to consult 3,000 MPs, local politicians, airport committee members and environmental stakeholders as it attempts to reduce the strain of exceptionally congested flight route areas.
Pledging to cut by 20 per cent the number of people affected by noise pollution as departing planes mount their ascent, pollution will also be an issue – with overlapping routes out of Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and London City airport creating a high flight concentration.
Ian Hall, NATS director of operations, said: "All these airports have grown considerably in the past 20 years … and we have simply accommodated this growth within the existing airspace infrastructure. Just like bottlenecks on our roads, increased air traffic causes congestion in the airways meaning delay and extra fuel burn – and that has an impact on the environment."
A priority for the process will be to relocate and separate the holding facilities that Luton and Stansted airports currently share, in a bid to avoid burdening certain areas with over-concentrated air traffic.