World record for NATS controllers at Gatwick Airport
Air traffic controllers at Gatwick Airport handled a total of 906 movements on 29 August, breaking their own world record for air traffic movements in a day from a single runway.
The record was broken at the end of the busy summer season and the last weekend of the school holidays, with 906 movements equating to a take off or landing every 63 seconds.
NATS is the only air traffic services operator in the world to have ever achieved more than 900 aircraft movements in a single day from one runway – a feat it achieved four times in August. It set the previous record of 895 in 2008 and has consistently set the benchmark for the number of movements from a single runway.
Over the past two years, NATS has worked to increase Gatwick’s declared capacity to deliver seven hours of 55 scheduled movements per day, although even more are not uncommon at peak times.
Steve Anderson, NATS General Manager at Gatwick, said: “To achieve over 900 runway movements means everything has to be working in perfect sync – from optimising the order of arriving and departing flights through to fine tuning the arrival spacing. It’s something we have worked incredibly hard at over many years and the team can be rightfully proud of the service we provide.”
The NATS team in the tower are supported by their controller colleagues based at Swanwick Control Centre. Steve added: “They play an absolutely integral role, and achieving 900 movements wouldn’t be possible without a NATS wide team effort.”