Heathrow Consultation Slightly Steeper Approaches

Closed 2 Apr 2021

Opened 5 Mar 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Heathrow is consulting on the permanent adoption of Slightly Steeper Approaches (SSA) for some of the aircraft arriving at the airport. These approaches have been in operation at Heathrow on a temporary basis following trials held in 2015-2017. Since then, the CAA allowed us to keep operating them whilst we followed this Airspace Change Process for their permanent adoption. 

Following the creation of design principles, and the development and initial appraisal of options for SSA, we are now at Stage 3 of the Airspace Change Process. This is the stage where we undertake detailed analysis of SSA and then consult with our stakeholders.  

Through the links at the bottom of this page you will find our 3 consultation documents associated with SSA, the summary document, consultation document and the Full Options Appraisal. 

As this consultation progresses Heathrow is monitoring the responses and composing a list of 'Frequently Asked Questions' from the feedback consultees are providing. The FAQ document, with Heathrow's answers, is available here.

Below is a copy of our summary document – a 2-page, quick read and easy to understand document with diagrams. 

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Consultation Document – A summary of the airspace change proposal so far, including links to documents on the CAA portal. The consultation document describes the SSA procedure in more detail and how Heathrow have reached the final option they are requesting to implement. It also includes a non-technical summary of the Full Options Appraisal outcomes.  


Why your views matter

Heathrow welcomes feedback from all our stakeholders regarding Slightly Steeper Approaches. As part of this SSA consultation, we are asking the question: 

Do you support the permanent adoption of slightly steeper approaches at Heathrow airport? 

Our 2-page summary document and Consultation Document provide information to help you respond to our consultation. Our Full Options Appraisal document provides detailed analysis if you are interested in the technical detail that supports our proposal.  

The consultation on slightly steeper approaches will run for 4 weeks from Friday 5 March 2021 - Friday 2 April 2021.

Privacy Statement

In accordance with the UK Civil Aviation Authority's CAP1616 airspace change process, consultation responses will be published on Citizen Space via the Airspace Change Portal. Responses will be subject to moderation by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you wish your response to be published anonymously your personal details (Name, Address and Email) will be redacted and only seen by us and the Civil Aviation Authority. 

Further information on Heathrow's privacy statement for the Slightly Steeper Approaches consultation can be found here and further details on the CAA's privacy statement can be found here

What happens next

After the consultation has closed, we will collate, review, and categorise consultation responses on the portal.  

We expect to submit a formal Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to the CAA in May 2021.  

If approved, we plan to permanently adopt SSA in December 2021.  

Throughout the process we will update the CAA’s Airspace Change Portal with the latest information.