As we’ve all been avidly following in the news, Virgin Orbit has just attempted the first orbital space launch from the UK, an important milestone for the country’s space industry, despite the anomaly that occurred after the rocket had left the Earth’s atmosphere. While public attention has largely been on the development of the rocket and its payload, we have been working hard in the background for over a year, along with partners across multiple countries, to ensure that the necessary airspace was clear for the launch.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the official opening of our Prestwick Centre, but when I think of all that we’ve achieved since 2010, I realise how quickly the time has gone and how busy it’s been.
2018 was the busiest summer on record for air traffic in Europe with peaks of 37,000 flights a day and 2019 is expected to be even busier. Unfortunately last summer also saw some of the worst air traffic delays throughout the continent, caused largely by airspace capacity constraints and staff shortages.
I’m an Air Traffic Controller and have been working at NATS for 25 years. Currently I split my time between the Operations Room, where I control aircraft, and the Development Department where I work on projects delivering new En-Route systems.
I kind of fell into the job and in fact before applying to NATS, I had no aviation background at all. I’d heard that NATS was a good Company to work for, so I looked into the opportunities there. I applied to train as an Air Traffic Controller and quickly caught the aviation bug!
Both London and Scottish Flight Information Services (FIS) provide assistance to General Aviation (GA), Military and Commercial Aircraft within the Class G airspace, outside of controlled airspace, covering the whole of the UK. Pilots don’t have to call and use the service, but here’s some information on why we think you should consider it….
NATS manages UK airspace from our two centres – one in Swanwick and the other in Prestwick, Ayrshire – and the air traffic controllers who work there use radar to safely guide aircraft that might be hundreds of miles away.
Last week saw the first ever non-stop flight by a solar powered aircraft across the Atlantic, with a number of air traffic control providers – including NATS – involved in the very detailed planning process.
Whether it’s Washington on business, sightseeing in the Big Apple, or a vacation of a lifetime to visit everyone’s favourite mouse in Florida, many of us simply want our journey across the North Atlantic to be as quick as possible. However, recent research by the University of Reading suggests climate change has the potential to […]
At Prestwick the FISOs record a fair amount of information on our handwritten FIR strips. We try to note down on the flight strip all the relevant information on the first call with an aircraft.