Across-the-board decrease in January flights

18 February 2009

The number of flights handled by NATS in January 2009 fell by ten per cent compared to January 2008. Figures published by NATS, the UK’s leading air traffic services company, show a total of 167,322 flights in UK airspace, against 185,885 in 2008.

A decrease was expected, since January included an additional weekend day (weekends have fewer flights than weekdays) over the previous year.

All centres and airports where NATS provides the service, saw a reduction in traffic this January, with the domestic market down by 12.0 per cent, transatlantic arrivals and departures down by 9.5 per cent and ‘other’ arrivals and departures down by 10.1 per cent. Airports where NATS provides ATC services recorded an overall fall of 10.0 per cent.

Of the more popular destinations, only Greece and Turkey continued to post growth of 19.0 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively. Most overflight destinations had fewer flights than last year, but long-haul flights between Canada and Germany increased by 11.9 per cent and short-haul flights between Ireland and France increased by 12.4 per cent.

Jan 2009 Jan 2008  %
UK FLIGHTS 167,322 185,885 -10.0%
London Area Control 136,119 150,094 -9.3%
London Terminal Control 97,089 107,689 -9.8%
Manchester Area Control Centre 36,870 43,837 -15.9%
Scottish Area Control Centre 43,860 49,493 -11.4%
Oceanic Area Control Centre (Shanwick) 30,119 31,795 -5.3%
Transatlantic Arrivals/Departures 9,921 10,958 -9.5%
Transatlantic Overflights 14,396 15,131 -4.9%
Other Arrivals/Departures 99,944 111,163 -10.1%
Other Overflights 8,895 9,788 -9.1%
Domestic 33,913 38,544 -12.0%


Notes to Editors:

·         NATS handled 2.4 million flights in 2008, covering the UK and eastern North Atlantic and carried more than 235 million passengers safely through some of the busiest and most complex airspace in the world.

·         NATS provides ‘en route’ air traffic control and management from the London Control Centre at Swanwick, Hampshire, Scottish and Oceanic Area Control Centre at Prestwick, Ayrshire and the Manchester Area Control Centre located at Manchester Airport.

·         NATS also provides air traffic control services at 15 of the nation’s major airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, together with a range of air traffic services at Gibraltar Airport.


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