The latest traffic figures from the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services, NATS, show that it handled the millionth flight on June 26th this year. Overall UK flights increased by 1.8 per cent in June 2013 compared to the same time last year.
Flights into and out of the United Kingdom have been hit by technical problems at the NATS Swanwick control centre. UK airspaces remained open, the air traffic control service said, but there would be limits on capacity while the problems were addressed.
NATS has reported a turnover of £899 million for the year, and a pre-tax profit of £191 million. Richard Deakin, chief executive, NATS said: “This has been another solid financial performance for NATS.”
NATS is marking one year since delivering 3Di, its award winning tool which measures the environmental efficiency of air traffic, unlocking estimated savings of 600,000 tonnes of CO2 and £120 million of fuel by 2015. Over the course of 2012, NATS’ 3Di score – as measured on a scale where zero equates to a ‘perfect flight’ – has been steadily improving, reflecting the range of environmental initiatives NATS has introduced to help save airlines fuel and minimise CO2 emissions.
NATS has awarded Lockheed Martin UK a seven-year contract extension to continue supporting the air traffic management systems based at Swanwick and Prestwick. Under this contract Lockheed Martin will also support the UK’s air traffic control company’s flight data processing system.
Members of the seven strong consortium of carriers known as the Airline Group could be preparing to sell their stake in National Air Traffic Services, according to reports. Airline Group bought a 42 per cent stake in NATS when it was privatised 11 years ago.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and NATS, air navigation service provider to the United Kingdom, have signed a memorandum of cooperation. The deal will allow both parties to collaborate, exchange ideas and experiences as well as develop and implement new initiatives to tackle air traffic management challenges.
European airspace could be poised for a radical shake-up after Germany’s state-owned air-traffic service, Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), has confirmed an interest in acquiring a shareholding in the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS).
Tens of thousands of airline passengers remain stranded around the world as the volcanic dust cloud continues to ground virtually all flights across Northern Europe. UK airspace remains closed, with experts now warning that eruptions could continue for months.
The National Air Traffic Service has warned British airspace is likely to be closed until lunchtime tomorrow at the earliest, with severe disruption expected into next week. But what alternative options to travellers to and from the UK have?