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THE managing director of Whiteley-based NATS is predicting a busy year over Britain’s skies.

Martin Rolfe, who leads the air navigation service provider’s operations team, said NATS had handled 180,036 flights in April, which was up 2.2 per cent on last year.

Mr Rolfe said: ‘As the busy summer travel period approaches, April shows encouraging signs for the months ahead.

‘We are handling more commercial traffic at the majority of UK airports where we operate and in addition to this we are keeping delay times to a minimum.

‘This is good news for our airport and airline customers as well as passengers.’

Delays attributable to NATS totalled 344 minutes, representing the lowest April total since records began in 1996.

Nine out of the fifteen airports where NATS operates air traffic control saw a rise in commercial traffic.