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Published on Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Flybe COO to take on challenge of UK airspace transformation

Flybe's chief operating office Sir Timothy Anderson is to leave airline to oversee the £150 million transformation of UK airspace.

Anderson, who is also a decorated RAF pilot, will chair the newly-created cross-industry Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG).

The group, which was commissioned by the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority as an independent body, is part of the UK's airspace modernisation strategy.

Anderson will leave Flybe to take up his new role in September.

His appointment completes the senior leadership of the ACOG, which will be led by Mark Swan of the Civil Aviation Authority, reporting to the steering group.

The steering group includes senior executives representing airlines, airports and the national air traffic control service, NATS.

Its aim is to modernise how airspace is managed as aircraft still follow the same basic route structure that was designed more than 60 years ago, which doesn't make best use of modern technology and can't accommodate forecast future growth.

Sir Timothy said: "The UK's airspace structures have served the nation well but our dependence on air transport, and its continuing growth, drive an inescapable need to modernise our airspace design and use.

"By doing this intelligently we will increase capacity safely, and be able to exploit emerging technologies and smart design principles to ensure that we minimise the environmental impacts to tolerable levels. 'Low-to-no' carbon is an entirely plausible direction of travel and one that we all can and should embrace."

Modernising the UK's airspace will help to reduce the environmental impact of aviation and increase capacity, making journeys cleaner, quieter and quicker, according to NATS.

Combined with new technology, the programme aims to help reduce aviation's carbon emissions, contributing to the global industry's goal to cut net emissions 50% by 2050, reduce the need for stacking, reduce noise, cut delays and increase airport capacity.

Aviation minister Baroness Vere said: "The modernisation of our airspace is essential to cut delays and make flying cleaner and quieter, while keeping pace with growing demand.

"It's great to see the Airspace Change Organising Group delivering another accomplished appointment and I am sure that Sir Timothy and his team will help navigate the complexities involved as we work to transform our airspace infrastructure."

Martin Rolfe, CEO of NATS, who was tasked with setting up ACOG, added: "We are very fortunate to secure Sir Timothy Anderson. He has a formidable track record and extremely relevant experience. I can't think of a better person to chair the steering group and support the delivery of this vital programme."

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