Earlier this morning, we celebrated the reopening of the US to UK travellers with a spectacular synchronised, parallel take-off from Heathrow, something that’s extremely rare. But why exactly is it so uncommon, and what does it take operationally to pull it off?
It’s not every day even the President of the United States gets to have tea with The Queen, but getting him in and out of what is the UK’s busiest airport – albeit with far less traffic than normal right now – is not entirely straightforward.
A while back NATS tweeted an image of the electronic flight strip and a follower asked if we’d explain the information the strip contains.
In simple terms, an electronic flight strip is a way for an air traffic controller to see all the relevant information about a specific aircraft; what it’s doing and where it’s going. There are actually different types of strip and as a tower controller I’m going to walk you through what I use: Electronic Flight Progress System (EFPS).
With the world’s busiest two runways, the Heathrow Airport control tower is a busy place, with the NATS controllers responsible for safely guiding 1,350 aircraft movements every day.
There was a time when Heathrow would come to a standstill on a daily basis to watch and listen to a very special aircraft, almost as if someone had pressed the pause button on the frantic pace of life at the airport.