9 MARCH 2020
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Almost 2.6m flights were handled in UK airspace in 2019 and air traffic has grown by more than 13% over the past 10 years, making last year and the past decade the busiest ever for air traffic, the NATS organisation reported last week.
The 2019 total of 2,580,214 flights managed by NATS in UK airspace was an increase of 0.9% over 2018 while air traffic increased by 13.3% between 2009 and 2019.
Last summer saw the busiest day on record with 8,863 flights on 5 July, beating the previous high set in May 2018. The two millionth flight of the year was on 25 September, three days earlier than ever before.
On the environment, NATS said the past decade had seen significant changes in CO2 savings and airspace modernisation. Over the next 10 years this would allow for up to 20% CO2 savings through improvements to continuous climb and descent profiles.
NATS operations director Juliet Kennedy said: “Air traffic overall is increasing and by 2030, our latest forecasts predict that there will be 3.2m flights in UK skies every year.
“Environmental concerns are front and centre for the industry and while the public do not want to be penalised for flying, they expect us to act. Airspace modernisation will help us to deliver the environmental benefits passengers want.”
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