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.
London City Airport has announced it is to become the first UK airport to build and operate a digital air traffic control tower, with a multi-million pound investment in the technology. The innovative plans are a flagship moment in the airport’s 30th anniversary year, and mark the start of a technological revolution in UK airport air traffic management.
The NATS Board has announced the permanent appointment of Martin Rolfe as its new chief executive officer following a full selection process. Rolfe has led the company since May. NATS chairman Paul Golby said: “Martin has proved himself an excellent candidate through both a robust selection and the way he has successfully steered the company during this interim period.”
NATS handled 224,716 flights in June, an increase of 2.5 per cent compared to June 2014. These latest air traffic figures confirm that the number of flights continues to increase on a month by month basis. According to NATS internal traffic data, transatlantic arrivals and departures remained buoyant and grew by 6.1 per cent in June 2015 versus June 2014.
Leading UK air traffic control company NATS saw an increase in flight traffic of 4.2 per cent in March compared to the same month last year, handling a total of 183,187 flights. Domestic flights led the UK market growth with an increase of 7.7 per cent compared to March 2014. This is the fifth consecutive month of growth for this sector. This rise was due, in part, to additional routes to Scotland and Northern Ireland from London City Airport.
Air traffic in the UK increased in January and February compared to those months last year, with NATS, the UK’s major air traffic management company, handling more than 159,000 flights in each of the first two months of 2015. NATS handled 164,805 flights in January, an increase of 1.6 per cent, compared to the same month last year, with 412 minutes of delays attributable to NATS - a 65 per cent reduction on the 1,190 minutes in January 2014.
NATS, the provider of en route air traffic services in the UK, recorded a 2.2 per cent increase in 2014 traffic volumes when compared to the previous year. Last year saw 2,200,804 flights, up from 2,153,995 in 2013. In December 2014 alone, NATS handled 158,106 flights, which was an increase of 3.8 per cent when compared to December 2013.
A trial to cut the amount of time aircraft spend circling in ‘holding stacks’ at Heathrow Airport has started to reap rewards. Led by air traffic services provider NATS, as part of the UK-Ireland FAB and in collaboration with FABEC and Heathrow Airport, the trial has the overall aim of cutting average holding times by a quarter from the current time of eight minutes.
Officials in the UK government have launched in independent inquiry into the failure of air traffic control services in the south-east of England on Friday. National Air Traffic Services blamed a software glitch at its centre at Swanwick in Hampshire for the disruption, which delays at Heathrow and Gatwick.
During August NATS handled 210,615 flights, which is an increase of 2.2 per cent compared to the same period last year. Nine out of the fifteen airports where NATS operates air traffic control saw a rise in scheduled air traffic last month.
Air traffic services provider NATS is to provide fully-managed simulator services at Bristol Airport. The 3D Aerodrome and Approach simulator, which will operate remotely, will provide the best available equipment for Bristol air traffic staff to train, familiarise and demonstrate their expertise, as well as practising new procedures and techniques.
Manchester Airport Group and NATS, the UK’s leading air traffic control provider, have signed an agreement confirming a ten-year contract for air traffic control and engineering services at both Manchester and London Stansted airports. NATS has a long standing relationship with Manchester and Stansted Airports, built up over many years, and will commence the new contract on April 1st 2015.