Air traffic

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Sustainable framework for UK aviation

Consultation with a wide range of stakeholders on the future direction of aviation policy

Air traffic management

The Government’s primary objective for the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) is to establish a partnership between the public and private sectors to provide the UK with the world’s best air traffic services in terms of safety, efficiency and capacity to meet increasing demand.

Lower Airspace Radar Services (LARS) was originally established in the 1970s to improve the efficiency of air traffic control services provided to aircraft in the vicinity of airfields not protected by controlled airspace. Its primary objective is to aid the flow of air traffic arriving at, and departing from, these airfields by encouraging aircraft transiting the area to receive an air traffic service (ATS).

Air traffic forecasts

Air traffic forecasts serve a number of purposes:

  • They take a view on expected demand in order to inform policy on airport capacity
  • They are a key input to studies on future capacity requirements such as SERAS
  • They can be used to examine the economic implications of policy alternatives
  • They are used by other Government departments

The forecasts aim to show the demand for air travel by UK and foreign residents to and from UK airports up to the year 2020, and are used by Government departments, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), airports and airlines, together with their own forecasts, for planning and appraisal purposes.

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