Airspace

Last week, on 2nd December 2021, NATS implemented the biggest airspace change ever undertaken in the UK and introduced Free Route Airspace for the first time into UK skies. It’s an exciting milestone in a project which has been underway for over five years and will enable huge fuel, flight time and CO2 savings. But what is Free Route Airspace (FRA) and what does it mean for airlines? 

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In this data visualisation, we share an example of a recent infringement at Southampton Airport, to explain how such an incident can have an impact on other airspace activity and users and to help raise awareness in the hope of minimising these occurrences in the coming months.

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By 2030, the aviation industry is targeting an overall reduction of at least 15% in net CO2 emissions relative to 2019, and a 40% net reduction by 2040. Managing our airspace more effectively, and flying more efficiently, will play a crucial role in the future of aviation.

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Up to eight vertical and horizontal launch spaceports in the UK are currently proposed. The vehicles launched from each of them will use airspace just as other aircraft already do, and as the custodians of UK airspace, NATS’ role is to integrate them safely and sustainably into our network.

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NATS can trace its sustainability programme back to 2008.  We’re proud that we were among the first in our industry to recognise the climate challenge and start to put in place measures to address the impact we have.

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After months of flights being grounded, the lockdown rules easing allowed for holidays abroad to start back up again but how did that translate into the number of flights in our skies?

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While the recent Icelandic volcanic eruption did not impact air travel, Gavin Dixon, from our Prestwick Centre, discusses why some do…

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The 23 March marks World Meteorological Day, commemorating the coming into force of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization in 1950. Read about the MET Office team that work alongside our operation and the work they do to ensure that safe and efficient operational decisions can be made.

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It was the Roman philosopher and naturalist Pliny the Elder who said the only certainty is that nothing is certain.  He would never know how many times he’d be quoted over the centuries, and it’s a truth we are grappling with right now as we try to plan our way out of the pandemic. 

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The dramatic fall in traffic we’ve seen across the Atlantic has given us a window of opportunity to do things differently, and to introduce things more quickly than otherwise might have been possible. So, we’re going to disband the Organised Track Structure on days where we don’t believe they are necessary.

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