The general assumption is that traffic is likely to increase slowly through to the end of the year, but we have to be ready to handle traffic whenever it returns. There’s no way airspace can be a constraint on regeneration so that means careful planning within our operation.
Last summer, NATS handled almost a quarter of all air traffic in Europe and yet contributed just 2.6% to total delays, but airspace capacity continues to challenge operational resilience.
At the end of March, a revolution will begin in the skies over the North Atlantic, as for the first time in the history of air travel, earth orbiting satellites will be used to monitor and manage flights in near real-time.
On this morning’s Today programme on BBC Radio 4, their Business Editor asked Peter Bellew, the COO of Ryanair, why he thought NATS would discriminate against his airline, and Stansted Airport, to cause them unfair levels of delay. The short answer is that we wouldn’t, and we don’t, discriminate between airlines or airports.
Much of Britain is bracing itself for snow and ice this week as the ‘Beast from the East’ arrives from Siberia to set up residence over the UK for the next few days.
Without meaningful airspace modernisation, the UK faces the prospect of delays 50 times what they are today, something that will cost airlines over £1bn each year and our wider economy an awful lot more.
Top airport and industry experts convened in Seoul last week for the ACI World Annual General Assembly at a time when sharing lessons learned through experience and working in co-operation is seen as the way forward.