NATS handles more than 2.4m flights in 2008

19 January 2009

The number of flights controlled by NATS during 2008 declined slightly compared to the total for 2007.

Controllers managed 2,433,946 last year against 2,470,940 for 2007, a decrease of 1.5 per cent.

NATS Operations Director Ian Hall said: “This is a very slight year-on-year decline. We were very busy at the start of 2008 and most of the decrease has been in the last three months. This needs to be looked at in the light of continuous growth since the year-long downturn following 9/11.”

“To put it into context, we handled 560,000 more flights last year than we did ten years ago and traffic in 2008 was still higher than 2006. The winter period generally sees lower traffic levels and we have been expecting an even quieter winter this year.”

NATS’ Scottish Area Control Centre and the Oceanic Area Control Centre both recorded increases of 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively for 2008. Transatlantic overflights and other overflights also rose by 5.2 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively for the year. All other centres and markets recorded a reduction.

Airports where NATS provides a service decreased overall by 2.5 per cent last year. However, London City, (3.7 per cent) Belfast International, (3.3 per cent) Bristol (2.9 per cent) and Cardiff (0.8 per cent) all posted growth.

The number of flights for the last month of the year was down eight per cent compared to December in 2007.

       Dec

2008

Dec

2007

% CY 2008 CY 2007 %
UKFLIGHTS 165,705 180,089 -8.0% 2,433,946 2,470,940 -1.5%
CENTRES
LondonArea Control 133,984 146,586 -8.6% 1,993,910 2,016,608 -1.1%
LondonTerminal Control 95,815 103,748 -7.6% 1,375,893 1,402,117 -1.9%
ManchesterArea Control Centre 36,591 41,973 -12.8% 565,571 600,591 -5.8%
Scottish Area Control Centre 43,803 47,406 -7.6% 635,582 628,226 1.2%
Oceanic Area Control Centre (Shanwick) 29,919 32,200 -7.1% 422,148 416,406 1.4%
 
MARKET
Transatlantic Arrivals/Departures 10,057 11,056 -9.0% 140,446 146,066 -3.8%
Transatlantic Overflights 14,441 15,373 -6.1% 202,567 192,526 5.2%
Other Arrivals/Departures 98,021 107,752 -9.0% 1,476,200 1,504,974 -1.9%
Other Overflights 8,532 9,061 -5.8% 127,341 123,794 2.9%
Domestic 34,403 36,525 -5.8% 483,228 498,920 -3.1%
 

 

Notes to Editors:

 

·      Quoted airport traffic figures are based on flights handled through NATS Area Control Centres, not on actual airport movements which are not available until later in the month.

·         NATS handled more than 2.4 million flights in 2008, covering the UK and eastern North Atlantic and carried more than 220 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 air traffic services at Gibraltar Airport.

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