Understanding ATC

Right now, our big challenge is volatility. We’re currently seeing 80%-90% of pre-pandemic traffic in the UK, but that traffic is both very ‘peaky’ and often presenting in places and at times that were not expected.

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When we were asked by our colleagues at RAF 78 Squadron, based in our Swanwick centre, to support a flypast over London to help mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, how could we possibly refuse? So just how do we plan a flypast in some of the UK’s busiest airspace?

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It’s now more than a year since London City Airport successfully transitioned to a digital tower and began controlling flights from a brand-new remote-control centre, based in Swanwick.

Now, instead of sitting in a physical tower based at London City Airport, a dedicated team of controllers manage the runway through sixteen high-definition cameras and sensors mounted on a mast, capturing a 360-degree view of the City Airport airfield.

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Happy Easter from all at NATS! For those of you with little ones to entertain this Easter holiday, we hope they will enjoy this egg-cellent activity pack and learn a little something about air traffic control. We’d love to see your work on the activities in the pack so if you’d like to share it, […]

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There were nine go-arounds in a row at one point at Heathrow, and 40 in total between 07:00 and 14:00, when usually we might see one a day. Add in similar problems at other airports and you’re suddenly dealing with a very complex, dynamic and challenging environment. 

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Portsmouth has a long and proud military history.  It’s a near neighbour of some of NATS’ main sites, notably our Swanwick Centre which is still unique in the world in having military and civil ATC working alongside each other.  Many of our colleagues are part of the Armed Forces community, from Veterans to Reservists to […]

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As climate change continues to make its presence felt, and events like Storm Arwen become more regular and severe, we need to embed climate resilience into our facilities and operations.

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Six radar, seven radio and three navaid stations were running on generators last month as the UK felt the full wrath of Storm Arwen.

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We’ve created a few fun themed Christmas backgrounds that are sure to wow your colleagues in your team meetings and dazzle your friends and family during your next Zoom quiz.

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COP26: Planning for history

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) came to a close earlier this month and as the UK prepared to host the event in Glasgow, months of logistical planning from our side was coming together as our air traffic controllers geared up for what was a busy few weeks, especially in Scottish airspace and at Scottish airports.

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