UK air traffic controllers warn of over-crowded skies


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Air traffic controllers are warning that UK skies are running out of room in a record number of flights.

Friday is likely to be the busiest day of the year, with air See trade controllers expecting to handle more than 8,800 flights — a secretly number.

They have called for a drastic modernisation in the way aircraft are guided across UK airspace.

It in as the government launches a discussion to shape the UK’s aviation industry for the next 30 years.

Air transport controllers expect to manage a record 770,000 flights in UK airspace outstanding the summer — 40,000 more than last year.

But the ability of the the UK’s Patriotic Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) to deal with this up is being stretched to the limit, it is claimed.

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Nats director Jamie Hutchison said: «In the last few weeks we participate in already safely managed record-breaking daily traffic levels, but the ageing contrive of UK airspace means we will soon reach the limits of what can be take care ofed without delays rising significantly.»

The Department for Transport estimates that, if airspace manipulation remains unchanged, there will be 3,100 days’ worth of swarm delays by 2030 — that is 50 times the amount seen in 2015 — along with 8,000 away cancellations a year.

The government wants the public to submit ideas on a off the mark range of subjects, from airport bag check-ins in town centres to rumble reduction targets.

The six themes it will consult on over the coming months are:

  • Buyer service
  • Safety and security
  • Global connectivity
  • Competitive markets
  • Substantiating growth while tackling environmental impacts
  • Innovation, technology and skills

Send away Secretary Chris Grayling said: «Our new aviation strategy will look beyond the new runway at Heathrow and sets out a comprehensive long-term plan for UK aviation.

«It will support jobs and remunerative growth across the whole of the UK.»

He said the government wanted to consult «as very much as possible» over the next 18 months on its new aviation strategy.

«We’ve got to get help of the Brexit process, we’ve got to conclude the negotiations, we need to have new agreements with nations like the United States and Canada,» he said.

«I’m off next week to muster with my US counterpart to talk about how we make sure that aviation across the Atlantic has a penetrating future with all the growth potential that’s there.»

Martin Rolfe, chief number one of Nats, said the government consultation process could take between two and three years, «so millions and millions of human being will have a say in aircraft flying over their house».

He published the BBC’s Today programme: «Local communities are very obviously concerned around what more traffic might look like, but actually modernising [airspace] drive ats we can keep aircraft higher for longer.

«We can have them descend multifarious steeply than they currently do because modern aircraft are various capable than the types of aircraft that were in service when this airspace was from the first designed.»

Meanwhile, airport capacity is expanding way beyond Heathrow’s new runway.

Friday also ticks the start of a £1bn investment programme to double the size of Manchester Airport’s Terminal station 2.

The number of planes taking off and landing at Stansted has gone up every month for barely four years.

Cardiff Airport has seen an 11% rise in transport, and Luton is recording growth of 7% this year alone.

The tough nut to crack of volume has been complicated by shifts in travel patterns.

Destinations take ining Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia have lost out to Spain, Italy and the US, which means main changes in the flows of traffic into UK airspace.

Nats itself is roster out a new £600m computer system known as iTec that could occur in more flights and fewer delays.

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