The Covid pandemic had a huge impact on aviation. Almost overnight the volume of traffic in the UK dropped hugely, by up to 90%. But this also provided an unexpected opportunity to see how we could use the UK’s airspace more efficiently.
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?
In a world where aeronautical information changes all the time, it’s important there is a standardised approach to making those changes. One of the management processes that NATS use to make operationally significant changes is ‘AIRAC’. But what is ‘AIRAC’, and why do we use it?
From time to time, you might hear us talk about airspace changes. But we rarely talk about the work that goes on behind the scenes to deliver the end result. Every change is broken down into elements, all managed by different teams – from safety experts to engineers who work closely to put their individual puzzle pieces together. These teams must ensure they deliver their pieces of the puzzle on time so that projects don’t slip, and airspace changes can always be delivered on the date that has been planned.
This year marks 100 years since the birth of air traffic control services in the UK – at Croydon Airport in south London. Today, we are on the verge of another revolution in air traffic control.
Quite rightly, there is now huge focus on how we can make flying more environmentally sustainable. People want to fly, and aviation has opened up global markets that nobody imagined 100 years ago. We won’t be turning the clock back – we just have to get smarter at how we fly.
We’ve often talked about the need to modernise UK airspace. It hasn’t seen any significant redesign since it was first mapped out in the 1950s. But, since then, the type and number of aircraft flying through our airspace have changed dramatically. We have been exploring what our future airspace could look like; what it could […]
NATS has an annual social research programme which includes asking the public, MPs and businesses for their views on a broad range of aviation issues. Our most recent public opinion tracking survey, run with Savanta ComRes (a leading research consultancy), provided us with a strong indication on the things that matter most to people around […]
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.
Now in its 16th year, The London Design Festival is a truly international affair. A creative celebration that brings together designers, architects and exhibitors from across the globe to showcase their latest designs, it is world-renown and the highlight of the year for many in the industry