There’s no doubt that this is a year like no other. And while Covid-19 means that there are far fewer planes in the sky right now, our controllers and planning teams have still been preparing for Remembrance Day to ensure that we can honour our wartime heroes without interruption.
The pandemic has resulted in the annual Remembrance Sunday March past the Cenotaph being cancelled, however, the Government led Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph will continue to go ahead as a closed ceremony.
Therefore, the special arrangements made every year apply this year too, ensuring that there is no flying over the Cenotaph between 1000 and 1200. This period of silence over central London is achieved using carefully choreographed air traffic control procedures, designed with precision timing by operational departments at our control centre at Swanwick and the air traffic control tower at London Heathrow Airport.
These procedures, which are utilised in the busiest airspace in the world, ensure that no aircraft are vectored over a column of airspace, with a radius of 2.5 nautical miles, centred on the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, for the duration of the commemoration. This includes fixed wing aircraft, helicopters but also even small balloons, kites, drones and parachutes.
It’s no mean feat, and one that we take very seriously. Our small way of helping honour those who gave us our today.
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