The number of flights in UK airspace continues to grow – how can you guarantee safety?

Safety is NATS’ first priority and always will be. The company’s principal task is to ensure aircraft under our control are safely separated. In 2010, there were no incidents of a loss of separation between aircraft that might have posed a risk.

NATS pioneered safety management systems in the air traffic control industry and continues to monitor trends and incidents to see what safety lessons can be learned and what preventative measures can be put in place. We are actively involved in anticipating safety events and have rigorous reporting structures in place so we can learn from each incident, however minor.

We fund and operate the Lower Airspace Radar System (LARS), despite the fact that this is not part of our licence obligation. This provides a service to general aviation (normally private pilots) to help them remain outside of the controlled airspace over southern England used by commercial airliners. During the period 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2010, controllers providing this service passed advice on 950 occasions to pilots who were close to infringing the controlled airspace. It allowed them to remain outside and not compromise their own and the airliners’ safety.

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