Ash cloud reduces April air traffic by more than 20 per cent

20 May 2010

Last month there were 141, 956 flights in UK controlled airspace, compared to 180, 166 in April 2009: a reduction of 38,210 flights.

The decrease reflects the action taken to restrict flight clearances between Wednesday April 15th and Monday April 20th, which affected all domestic, international and overflight services.

Ian Hall

NATS Operations Strategy and Standards Director Ian Hall said:

“For the UK’s aviation industry, the widespread presence of volcanic ash was an unprecedented event.

We worked with the regulator, government and our customers to ensure safety was the first priority.

“We are focused on delivering the safe and efficient regeneration of air traffic to support the airlines in recovering their operations.

This natural hazard, the scale of which has not been experienced in this region before, continues to threaten air travel and we continue to monitor volcanic activity data to try to minimise the effect on our airspace.”

All NATS markets, centres and airports posted a reduction in traffic for April, which can be seen on the table below.

  Apr 2010 Apr 2009 % gr 2010 to Date 2009 to Date % gr
UK FLIGHTS 141,956 180,166 -21.2% 614,259 680,770 -9.8%
CENTRES            
Swanwick 123,429 155,610 -20.7% 529,083 584,561 -9.5%
Prestwick 56,811 74,941 -24.2% 248,687 285,100 -12.8%
London Area Control 117,492 147,706 -20.5% 501,295 554,471 -9.6%
London Terminal Control 82,157 102,836 -20.1% 361,369 394,051 -8.3%
Manchester Area
Control Centre
30,285 39,960 -24.2% 130,721 150,716 -13.3%
Scottish Area
Control Centre
34,111 45,583 -25.2% 153,367 174,163 -11.9%
Oceanic Area
Control Centre (Shanwick)
27,289 32,461 -15.9% 114,214 120,848 -5.5%
MARKET            
Transatlantic
Arrivals/Departures
8,284 10,066 -17.7% 35,474 38,861 -8.7%
Transatlantic
Overflights
12,217 15,253 -19.9% 52,264 56,986 -8.3%
Other Arrivals/Departures 87,005 109,229 -20.3% 371,242 409,187 -9.3%
Other Overflights 6,367 8,717 -27.0% 28,489 34,562 -17.6%
Domestic 27,693 35,876 -22.8% 125,315 139,362 -10.1%
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