Air traffic controllers prepare for Olympics

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AIR traffic controllers will be dealing with thousands of extra flights over the Olympic period.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which is based at Swanwick, expects to handle 3,000 extra business flights, 150 flights carrying heads of state, and 1,500 additional helicopter flights over the London 2012 fortnight.

This is all on top of the 6,000 flights it routinely handles every day.

All these will be guided through airspace subject to temporary restrictions and security precautions.

Aviation minister, Theresa Villiers said: ‘The Olympics is one of the biggest events this country will ever host and with the eyes of the world firmly fixed upon the UK it’s vital we get it right.

‘The amount of planning and professionalism that I’ve seen at NATS is very impressive.’

Richard Deakin, NATS chief executive officer, said: ‘The Olympics is going to be a huge challenge for NATS, but we’re really aiming for business as usual in terms of the service our customers will receive.’