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  • What are Independent Parallel Approaches (IPA)?

    As part of our current Airspace and Future Operations consultation, we are consulting on a proposed short-term change to the way that some aircraft arrive at Heathrow.  This is known as Independent Parallel Approaches (or “IPA”) and involves some new arrival routes into Heathrow from the holding stacks. Some of these flight paths could overfly areas that are not affected by Heathrow arrivals today.

    The introduction of IPA requires an airspace change to be approved by the CAA, and our current consultation on IPA will form part of our engagement with local communities and affected stakeholders. IPA will make us more efficient and more resilient to disruption, reducing the chances of delays for passengers. Any airspace changes required would be replaced by our longer-term airspace design, if our third runway is approved.

    Design principles engagement

    Between September and November 2018, we engaged with our local stakeholder and community groups, as well as industry experts to gather views on the key design principles we could use to design our flight paths for IPA. We also commissioned a series of focus groups with members of the public who live in areas less affected by today’s operations, but which may potentially be affected by the new IPA flight paths in the future.

    We submitted these design principles to the CAA on 3 December 2018 which were approved by the CAA at the end of December 2018.

    Airspace and Future Operations Consultation 2019

    Between January and March 2019 we consulted on our airspace and the areas where flight paths could be positioned in the future for IPA. More information can be found on the Heathrow consultation website
    Find out more about the Heathrow consultation.
    Our submission and all supporting appendices are available from the CAA website and can also be found below.

    Heathrow’s airspace changes