Osprey Consulting Services, which is managing the CAA CAP 1616 Airspace Change process for RSP, have commented on the CAA’s most recent Gateway decision:

“The CAP 1616 process used by the CAA to manage proposed changes to airspace is rightly challenging, in order to provide aviation and community stakeholders with assurance that proposals are as robust as possible – having been carefully scrutinised by an independent Regulator. In the CAA’s words, they are also intended to ‘minimise any work having to be repeated, particularly in getting the supporting documentation for consultation right’.  Although naturally disappointing that the CAA have reduced the issues to be resolved, rather than allowing the gateway to be passed, due to the nature of this project it is particularly important that we get this stage right.

“An airspace change has never before been proposed for a UK airport that is still in the planning stages.  Indeed, in their initial feedback, the CAA have acknowledged that trying to encompass all the CAP 1616 steps required to progress from no airport to a full all-weather cargo hub is a very complex proposition.  This high level of complexity is reflected in the clarification the CAA requires to ensure that the various elements of the proposal fit with the CAP 1616 process.

“Osprey is working closely with the CAA to determine how the CAP 1616 process should be applied to a unique project such as this, and to establish what further clarification is required within our documentation to allow the project to progress to the next stage.  Once we have received the comprehensive feedback from the CAA, we will revise and re-submit our proposals for a further Stage 2 Gateway Assessment – with the aim of successfully progressing the ACP to the next stage, which includes a full public consultation.”