Plans for further consultation relating to changes to airspace north of London have been postponed by National Air Traffic Services (NATS).
In a statement, NATS said there is less urgency on capacity grounds to implement the changes because of a steady decline in air traffic levels since 2008, when the changes to the Terminal Control North (TCN) area were first proposed.
Alex Bristol, NATS’ development and investment director, said the proposals will be incorporated into a larger review of southern England’s airspace.
"The TCN benefits are very much a part of helping us deliver bigger benefits, albeit on a longer timescale," he explained.
"These include keeping aircraft higher for longer on more direct routes, which saves fuel burn and CO2 and means less noise for people on the ground."
According to current forecasts, air traffic levels are not expected to levels last seen in 2007 until 2013-14 at the earliest.
NATS recently revealed that it handled its millionth flight this year on July 1st, two weeks later than 2009 when the milestone was recorded on June 19th.