Changes to London Luton Airport Arrivals

Closed 5 Feb 2021

Opened 19 Oct 2020

Published responses

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


The arrival flightpaths into London Luton Airport need to change, and you can help shape how.

Today’s airspace around London Luton (LLA) and Stansted airports is largely unchanged despite growth in recent years. The airports currently share arrival routes and the same two holds, which is unique in the UK for two such major airports. Any arrival delay or disruption at one airport can cause unnecessary arrival delay to the other, impacting the travelling public and local communities.

Our proposals for change involve separating LLA’s arrivals flightpaths from Stansted’s, and establishing a new hold for LLA, to reduce delays and assure safety for the future. There are no changes to Stansted’s routes.

This Airspace Change Proposal is co-sponsored by London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL), which is responsible for the low level arrival routes (below 8,000ft); and NATS, which provides air traffic services at the airport and for the wider air route network across the UK.

The areas shown in the map below could be affected, and we want to hear your feedback.

Click the map to download a short summary


About this airspace change proposal


Currently, LLA and Stansted, which are two of the five busiest airports in the UK, share the same arrival flows to the same holds, in a relatively small region.  As it is so interdependent, air traffic control often has to limit the number of aircraft in this airspace to maintain safety, which causes delays.  

Separating the arrival flows will create safe, efficient and predictable routes into each airport, needing less intervention from air traffic controllers.  Separate routes and less congestion will help to prevent the return of rising delays, benefiting passengers, businesses and the local economy. 

Although the amount of air traffic has reduced due to the impacts of COVID-19, the need to change the airspace remains. Unless we do something now, we will see more arrival delays and airborne holding as flights increase, worsening the environmental impacts and increasing the likelihood of delay in order to protect safety.

We are seeking your feedback on two options. The videos below show the two options during both easterly and westerly operations.

Easterly (Runway 07) above, westerly (Runway 25) below



Virtual Exhibition
Further information can be found within our Virtual Exhibition.  It enables you to view the consultation material in an interactive manner, including informative videos, downloadable documents, and a postcode look-up tool which will give you a useful indication of how the proposed changes may affect your area. We encourage you to take a look around.

We will also be hosting a series of online meetings (webinars) open to any interested party.  You can register for one of these webinars from within the Virtual Exhibition.

Click the image to enter the virtual exhibition

Consultation Materials
A two-page executive summary is available here.

The full Consultation Document is available either by clicking the front cover below, the link at the bottom of this web page, or from within the Virtual Exhibition.

It is available in two versions - one for reading on screen, the other designed for printing.  Please download and read the consultation document. 

Supplementary documents include a summary leaflet, the Consultation Strategy and the Full Options Appraisal, all of which can be viewed at the links below or from within the Virtual Exhibition, and a Technical Map that can be downloaded to a computer for offline viewing.

Click the image to download the full Consultation Document Issue 1.1 screen version. (Issue 1.1 corrects minor typographical errors and one supplemental data table in Annex E)

Why your views matter

The purpose of this consultation is to enable you to respond to our proposal - it is your opportunity to help shape it.  The Consultation Document describes why we need to change this airspace, what happens now and what would happen under each of the two design options.

The feedback we receive during the consultation period is very important.  It assures us that we have considered the needs of those who would be impacted and will shape our final proposal,  We encourage you to read the material, understand how this change may affect you, and give us your views by answering our questions in the online survey at the link below.

The consultation will run from Monday 19th October 2020 – Friday 5th February 2021.

The Virtual Exhibition (above) provides an interactive way to access the consultation materials, all of which are also available at the bottom of this web page.

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 be seen by us and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Further information on NATS’, LLA’s, and the CAA’s privacy statements can be found here, here and here respectively.

What happens next

We examine all the responses, categorise them, analyse them, and draw conclusions from them. 
This may result in changes to the design.
We will publish documents explaining our categorisation, our analysis, and our final design.
We expect to submit a formal Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to the CAA in June 2021. 
If approved, we plan to implement the change no earlier than February 2022.
The CAA’s Airspace Change Portal will be updated with the latest information as the ACP progresses.