Traffic figures for August show the number of flights through UK airspace has fallen for a second month.
However, Gatwick, the worlds busiest single-runway airport, broke both its monthly and daily records, despite overall negative growth in the UK, handling 26,386 movements during the month and a record 895 movements on 22 August. Heathrow traffic fell by 1.2 per cent, to 41,391 movements. The overall drop of 1.8 per cent compared to August 2007 comes as the Manchester, London Area and London Terminal air traffic control centres reported lower flights than last year. The Scottish and Oceanic Centres at Prestwick handled more flights, a growth of 1.4 and 1.0 per cent respectively. Whilst longhaul, shorthaul and domestic arrivals and departures also fell slightly, transatlantic and European overflights both showed growth, of 3.1 and 3.3 per cent respectively. Ian Hall, NATS Director of Operations said Despite the downturn in some markets we are still very busy, and the number of flights handled to the end of August this year, at 1,669,676, is still ahead of the same period in 2007. We continue to break records in some parts of our operation. Low-cost operations are still showing strong growth in some areas, with flights between Ireland and France/Germany/Spain increasing by 18.1, 6.6 and 4.3 per cent respectively. However, flights between Ireland and Poland continued to fall, this time by 29.7 per cent. Traffic at airports where NATS provides a service also fell overall by 2.7 per cent. The strongest growth was at Bristol (6.0 per cent) and Belfast International (2.7 per cent).