Aviation Safety

Your safety is the number one priority of the whole aviation industry. Learn about what measures make flying as safe as it is.

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Air Traffic Control

Air Traffic Services concerns keeping aircraft safely separated from each other while flying. This is achieved by allocating different heights to aircraft or by arranging certain minimum horizontal distances between them.

The CAA oversees the safety provision of civil air traffic services (ATS) within the UK. This is achieved through the certification, licensing and approval of organisations, personnel, equipment and safety procedures involved in the provision of a safe air traffic service.

The largest Air Traffic Service provider in the UK is NATS. They provide air traffic control services at 15 of the UK's biggest airports, and "en-route" air traffic services for aircraft flying through UK airspace. In 2006 they handled 2.4 million flights carrying over 220 million passengers. For a full description of their role, please visit the NATS web site.

The European Commission “Single European Sky” initiative is attempting to overcome the current fragmentation of ATS provision across Europe by structuring airspace and air navigation services at a pan-European level rather than at a national one. Its other objectives include:

  • to enhance current safety standards and overall efficiency for general air traffic in Europe
  • to optimise capacity meeting the requirements of all airspace users and
  • to minimise delays