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Airspace review will not impact on islanders

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Monday 08 April 2013

Planned changes to the way aircraft travelling in and around the Channel Islands are controlled and routed will have no impact on the general public.

Various local bodies and organisations are currently being consulted on the plans to modernise the rules governing how commercial and private planes are flown in what is known as the Channel Island Control Zone. This is the area between the UK and France where aircraft are managed by air traffic control (ATC) operators in Guernsey and Jersey.

The technical changes will bring the CI Zone into line with current international airspace management practice, which better reflect the capabilities of modern aircraft and air traffic management systems.

Guernsey ATC Manager Frank McMeiken said that although the proposed changes will not directly impact on islanders, there would be potential environmental and financial benefits.

'There are no proposed changes to aircraft routes over the land arising through the airspace review. Those are dictated by the geographical location of the Guernsey Airport, and governed by regulations published in aircrew briefing documents,' he said.

'The proposals are to update the rules and procedures followed by air traffic flying within the Channel Islands Control Zone. The principal impact will be on aircraft operators and flight crew, who mostly stand to benefit from more modern practices and increased freedoms.

'However it will enhance aviation sustainability, as it brings the Channel Islands into line with the harmonised European ATC operation, reducing the differences between jurisdictions to a minimum. The simplified airspace and procedure design will focus on enabling aircraft to arrive and depart in a more economical manner, with benefits in terms of emissions and operating cost.'

Richard Wright, head of corporate communications for Cyrrus, the company carrying out the airspace review, said it reflected the importance of aviation to the Channel Islands.

'This is a major review to ensure that the airspace the Channel Islands control is managed in a way that best meets the needs of air operators, now and in the future, while respecting islanders and protecting the environment.'

Anyone who would like to find out more about the current consultation can download the technical document detailing the proposals and supporting information at www.guernsey-airport.gov.gg/essentialLinks.html.

Mr Wright will also be at Guernsey Aero Club this Wednesday (10th April), where islanders can drop in between 4pm and 7pm to find out more information.

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