Airspace change process

What is an Airspace Change Process?

Our airspace is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who keep it safe, efficient and cost-effective.

The CAA is currently in the process of modernising the air navigation infrastructure throughout the UK. For Glasgow Prestwick Airport, this means the removal of navigation aids at Turnberry and New Galloway (visual below).  They will be replaced by systems which use technology on the aircraft and in space to navigate.


The Airspace Change Process is a series of steps required by the CAA. The steps are there to ensure all airports follow the same process, and many involve a consultation with the public.  The results from this consultation are then used to inform our final design which will be considered by the CAA for approval.

The CAA’s decision is based on whether the change is efficient, environmentally-friendly and safe.

The changeover from analogue to digital infrastructure is part of a five-year national programme which started in 2014.  The navigational aids which assist aircraft to fly in and out of Glasgow Prestwick Airport are due to be taken out of service in 2018.

We are working with NATS (National Air Traffic Services the UK’s air traffic control company) and their airspace design experts as we change our existing flight procedures ahead of the introduction of the new technology.

This video explains the need to modernise UK airspace.

We want to make sure our airspace is fit for the 21st century. We know air travel is growing in popularity and volume so we need to have an airspace which can accommodate future growth. This means making sure our airspace is fit for aircraft coming from all over the world, as well as for the different types of aircraft which use Glasgow Prestwick Airport. We see a wide variety of passenger, cargo, military, executive and general aircraft which all use the same airspace and are subject to the same conditions.

We’re working hard to grow our airport and bring in new business.