The United Kingdom will spend £5.5 million ($7.6 million) to reorganize and modernize flight paths. It is the country’s first initiative of the kind since the airways system was created in the 1950s.
Given how ancient some British flight paths are, the growth of demand and the expansion of the network resulted in “an increase in delays, noise, and pollution,” according to the British Department for Transport. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the air transport industry, as many as 7,000 aircraft per day operated in the UK’s airspace.
Thus, the British Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority jointly announced on March 19, 2021, that a fund of £5.5 million ($7.6 million) would be created to “develop and evaluate design options aimed at making journeys quicker, quieter, and cleaner.”
“We’re delighted that the government has reaffirmed the essential role that airspace modernisation will play in helping the aviation industry to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mark Swan, Head of the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG), said. “We will continue to work with our partners across the industry to ensure this programme is one that delivers for all of the UK.”
Using a network of radio range beacons installed by the United States military during the Second World War, the United Kingdom began using an airways system in 1950. “Green One” became Europe’s first airway, running from Woodley near Reading to the Welsh coast. It was followed by five more routes in the next year.