The government has today announced that `The Airline Group` has been awarded the contract to run the UK`s air traffic control system (NATS) under a `public private partnership` for a 30 year term.
The Airline Group consists of seven UK airlines, including easyJet.
easyJet`s investment is £6.6 million. This is considered a long-term capital item. easyJet`s involvement in The Airline Group was listed in its flotation prospectus in November 2000.
Ray Webster, easyJet Chief Executive, said:
“The development of a safe, reliable and efficient air traffic system with capacity growth is absolutely essential to the future growth of easyJet, which is why we are delighted to be part of the consortium that has been awarded the contract to run NATS.
“The aims and objectives of NATS and the Airline Group are inextricably linked and we always maintained that it would be the users of air traffic services - i.e. the airlines - which represented the best overall option to take control of NATS.
“The long-term challenge for the low-cost airline industry is to ensure that sufficient capacity exists in the air and on the ground to ensure that sustained growth is possible. Therefore, there is an important strategic dimension, which requires airlines and NATS to be much more closely aligned in long-term development - rather than a third-party which may place profit above the long-term aims of the industry.
“This issue was identified over 30 years ago and we now have the best chance yet in the European aviation industry to get it right.”