Annual Report & Accounts 2018
Dr Paul Golby CBE
The UK sits at the heart of a very busy global aviation network and our air traffic service is a vital part of the national transport infrastructure. We operate a safe and efficient network in the skies for the aviation industry which contributes directly and indirectly to the UK’s economy.
The UK aviation industry is united behind the need for a fundamental modernisation of our airspace, both at lower levels around airports and in upper airspace. Our airspace structures have not changed significantly over the past 50 years and will not accommodate the forecast growth in traffic and airport infrastructure, including a new runway at Heathrow without causing unacceptable air traffic delays to the travelling public. We are proposing to take a leading role in modernising airspace in south east England, coordinating the design work and managing the programme at a network and airport level.
We handled 2.52 million flights (2017: 2.45 million), 2.7% more than last year, and maintained our safety record. En route delay per flight improved to 7.2 seconds (2017: 10.9 seconds). Also, we made technical changes to our operations which enable additional annual savings for airlines of 228,073 tonnes of CO2 emissions (2017: 59,768t), based on projections of the volume of flights likely to take advantage of these changes. We consulted customers and the CAA on our capital investment plan, which accelerates the deployment of new technology. We will invest £750m-£780m over the reference period (RP2: 2015 – 2019) in sustaining and modernising our infrastructure, which will be completed in RP3. We strengthened our UK Airports business with new contracts. We are building the infrastructure to provide London City with the UK’s first remote digital tower ATC service in 2020. We also won a contract to provide air traffic controllers to the Airport Authority of Hong Kong, increasing the scale of our Asia Pacific business.