With airports so badly hit by the impact of the Covid crisis, being able to maximise the value and efficiency of existing assets – especially runways – is going to be of critical importance over the coming years as we begin to see traffic return.
In the run up to Christmas Eve, Santa will be conducting a number of test flights in order to put a brand new sleigh through its paces at a number of locations all around the world and we need your help.
Last month we launched Airspace Explorer, our flight tracking and airspace education app and as such, I’ve been digging into how our airspace is made up and how it remains the foundation of our aviation industry. Today I’m looking at airspace classifications, the differences between them and what they mean for the people who fly through them.
NATS manages UK airspace from our two centres – one in Swanwick and the other in Prestwick, Ayrshire – and the air traffic controllers who work there use radar to safely guide aircraft that might be hundreds of miles away.
Last week we launched Airspace Explorer, our beta app that uses real radar data to track aircraft in the UK. One of the things we want to achieve was to highlight the importance and structure of our airspace – the invisible and hidden road network in the sky in which our controllers manage flows of air traffic.
If you’re like me, I’m sure you will have read last week’s story about circular runways – The Endless Runway Project – with a huge amount of interest mixed with equal doses of incredulity and admiration.
We all know the feeling: the year-long angst wondering if you’ve made it onto the Nice List in time for Christmas Eve. Well fret no longer…
We are at the dawn of a third age of air traffic management, a world of airspace systemisation. It means that aircraft will again be separated procedurally, only this time based on technologies unimaginable to those pioneering pilots and controllers of the ‘40s and ‘50s.