The use of the phonetic spelling alphabet – Alfa, Bravo, Charlie etc – is a common sound in air traffic control towers and centres around the world, but where did it come from and why does everyone use the same one?
To celebrate International Women’s Day this Sunday 8 March and the 100th anniversary year for air traffic control, we are giving 100 lucky winners the opportunity to win a NATS goody bag, featuring one of our commemorative retro patches.
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 worked with Historic Croydon Airport Trust to select a handful of the best photos that help tell the story of the birth of Air Traffic Control and had them professionally colourised by internationally renowned artist, Marina Amaral.