Nats prepares for summer holiday rush

UK air traffic control service Nats expects to handle a record-breaking 8,800 flights today and more than 770,000 overall during the course of the summer.

The figures beat numbers seen last year by 40,000 and the previous high set in 2007, with significant growth across many UK airports.

The increase has seen leaders at the organisation warn skies over the UK are getting close to overcrowding.

Jamie Hutchison, Nats director at Swanwick air traffic control centre, which handles traffic over England and Wales, said: “We work very closely with our airline and airport customers in the run up to the summer to ensure we have the right planning and resources in place to get people away safely for a well-earned holiday.

“It’s our busiest time of year and traffic growth is outpacing forecasts year-on-year.

“In the last few weeks we have already safely managed record-breaking daily traffic levels, but the ageing design of UK airspace means we will soon reach the limits of what can be managed without delays rising significantly.”