Record low delays for air traffic control in 2012

28 January 2013

Last year was the lowest on record for NATS-attributable air traffic control delays for passengers flying to and from destinations in the UK.

Delays attributable to NATS averaged just 1.6 seconds per flight during 2012, although in reality 99.8 per cent of UK flights did not suffer any NATS air traffic control delay.

Those flights that were delayed – 3,495 during the year compared to 17,013 in 2011 – were only held up for an average of 15.9 minutes.

Total UK flights in 2012 amounted to 2,144,397, a decrease of 1.3 per cent on the total for 2011 (2,173,715). Last year’s figure was more than 13 per cent below the peak recorded in 2007.

The total NATS-attributable delays for 2012 was down 80.8 per cent, from over 290,180 minutes in 2011 to just 55,692 minutes in 2012.

December’s delay figures totalled 1,087 minutes – 94 per cent lower than December 2011 and the lowest on record for any December. The meant NATS had record low levels of delay in 11 months of 2012 – the only exception being June as preparations for the London 2012 Olympics gathered pace.

Martin Rolfe

Martin Rolfe

NATS Managing Director Martin Rolfe said: “We have continued to provide an excellent service to the travelling public, airlines and airports throughout the whole of 2012.

“The work we have done to drive delays down to these record low levels means it is extremely rare now for anyone flying in the UK to be held up as a result of NATS air traffic control.

“We will be maintaining the pressure in 2013 to keep air traffic control delays to a minimum and to ensure that the travelling public in the UK get the best possible service from NATS.”



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