Air traffic increases despite weather woes

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Film crews in Stokes Bay, Gosport. Picture: Kevin Casey

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THE National Air Traffic Service (NATS), which is based in Whiteley and Swanwick, handled more flights in 2013 than the year before, despite battling strikes, bad weather and a huge technical malfunction.

The number of flights NATS handled in 2013 rose by 0.4 per cent to 2,153,995.

Figures are still well below peak numbers in 2007, when air traffic was almost 13 per cent higher than in 2013.

Martin Rolfe, managing director operations for NATS, said: ‘We have successfully managed the slight increase in air traffic this year, keeping safety as our number one priority.

‘A total of 2,153,995 movements were handled by NATS, signifying growth, and we’re looking forward to supporting an even 
busier and more successful 2014.’

Technical issues at NATS’ Swanwick Control Centre on December 7, coupled with the bad weather experienced by the UK at the beginning of December and again at Christmas, severely impacted flights during the month.

Each delayed flight was late by an average of 89.3 minutes in December compared to 20.1 minutes in 2012.