The roads in our skies

The aircraft we see in our skies are using an intricate and highly structured route network which keeps us safe as we fly from A to B, from the moment we take off to touchdown at our destination.

NATS is the custodian of UK airspace, managing the ‘invisible infrastructure’ that helps a wide range of airspace users to fly safely. Find out more below.


Explore the sections below to find out more about how airspace works, how we manage it and what the future looks like.

The value of aviation to the UK

The UK is an island nation connected to the rest of the world through the strength of our aviation industry. 

We have the third largest aviation network in the world, behind only the USA and China,  supporting 1.56 million jobs and contributing over £88 billion to the UK economy. 

Watch this video to learn more about the value of aviation to the United Kingdom >> 

Airspace TV

'Airspace TV' is where we share all of our airspace-related videos including data visualisations of air traffic around the world.

Below is a selection of our more popular videos. Visit Airspace TV for more.

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UK 24
Take a guided tour of a typical day in UK skies with over 7,000 aircraft operating to power leisure, commerce and security.
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Europe 24
24 hours following the traffic patterns over Europe on a typical Summer day.
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North Atlantic Skies
Every day, between two and three thousand aircraft fly across the North Atlantic between Canada, the United States and Europe.
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London 24
Every year over 1.2 million aircraft arrive at or depart from a London airport. That's over 3,500 flights every day using just six runways.
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70 years of air traffic
This visualisation charts the history of the UK’s skies from the 1950s to the present day.


The latest airspace-related news and stories from around our business.


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