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Airspace change 1

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Please note the animation is provided to illustrate this part of the consultation topic and does not show where flight paths are today or will be in the future. The video animation shows westerly operations only; for more information on easterly operations please make sure you review the consultation materials.

The postcode map tool below presents the geographic areas within which flight paths could be positioned in the future – both for expansion, and to make better use of our existing runways, through use of Independent Parallel Approaches (IPA). These areas are known as design envelopes.

Once you have entered a postcode or area of interest to you, the design envelope(s) which your location falls within will be presented, along with information on the number, height and noise of potential flights over this area, to give you an understanding of the potential impact of flights.

To help us design new flight paths we want to know whether there are any sites or locations that you think require special consideration by us in determining where future flight paths should be.

Please describe the special characteristics of these locations, stating why they would be sensitive to flights overhead. For example, this could be because they would be sensitive to noise or visual impacts associated with flights overhead.

You may be in more than one design envelope. Where this is the case the airspace design will seek to ensure flight paths within different envelopes would not be in use over the same area at the same time. This means that the ‘number of flights’ figure given alongside each design envelope should be considered individually and not added together, unless stated otherwise.

For a further overview explanation please watch the video above. Alternatively, read more at Airspace Change - For expansion and existing two runways.

Please note the question numbering used in these online response pages reflects the hard copy documents prepared for this consultation, to allow people to cross reference easily, and so may appear out of order.

When using this tool we will record the postcodes or locations entered against the comments made on each design envelope to assist with the accuracy and analysis of feedback. The postcodes or location you enter will only be linked to your personal details if you choose to enter them at the end of this questionnaire. Please view our Privacy Notice for more details.

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Please click on the individual coloured segments for an indication of aircraft heights in each location.

Select a design envelope below for more information on the number, height and noise of potential flights.

A = Expansion arrivals, D = Expansion departures, I = Two runway arrivals with IPA

Independent Parallel Approach (2 runways)

Expanded Heathrow (3 runways)


If you are within (or close to) any design envelope, it is possible that you may also see or hear aircraft from nearby design envelopes that you are not directly beneath. This is particularly the case nearest to the airport.

In this consultation, we are also asking for feedback on proposals about how we might operate the runways at an expanded Heathrow to reduce noise and create regular respite periods. As the postcode or area of interest you entered is situated within a design envelope, information on these topics may also be of interest to you. Please refer to the consultation summary document for more information. Questions on these topics can be found later on in this questionnaire.

How to use the design envelopes

The design envelopes shown within our postcode map tool refer to potential flights to and from Heathrow up to a height of 7,000 feet only, because Heathrow is responsible for proposed changes to its airspace up to an altitude of 7,000 feet. Flights above 7,000 feet and those flights that do not land or depart from Heathrow are not referenced within this tool.

The data indicates how many aircraft you could expect to use that flight path in the future. This is shown as a number of flights per hour, which will vary between zero (when that route is not in use), to a maximum number of hourly flights which would only occur in very busy periods.

These figures relate to normal operations and represent our initial set of assumptions. The next phase of design will consider stakeholder feedback and these assumptions will be developed; therefore these figures could be subject to change as our design work progresses. We will provide details of any changes as a result of this work in our final airspace consultation planned for 2022.

The envelopes have been divided into sections to show the heights of aircraft that could be flying in each section of the envelope. All height values given are in feet above mean sea level – if for example, the location of interest is on high ground then its height should be factored in.

We have provided an indication of the number of flights that may exceed 65 decibels, equivalent to noise levels in a busy office. This measure, known as “N65”, is recommended in both the Secretary of State’s Air Navigation Guidance and the CAA’s Airspace Design Guidance. 65 decibels is a measure for daytime operations.

Due to the nature of how postcodes are allocated and the limitations of mapping software, it may be possible that some locations that fall on or near the edges of our design envelopes may be incorrectly displayed as being inside or outside a design envelope. If you find that your postcode falls on or near the edges of a design envelope you may wish to refer to the relevant documents for display of the design envelopes. Alternatively if you have any questions you can contact us using the details on the consultation website .

Please note, there is also an opportunity to provide comments on this topic via a general feedback question at the end of this questionnaire.

Previous responses:

Please give enough information (e.g. postcode, address or place name) for us to identify the site(s) or local factor(s) you are referring to and tell us why you think it is important.

Please give enough information (e.g. postcode, address or place name) for us to identify the site(s) or local factor(s) you are referring to and tell us why you think this local factor is important.