Air traffic controllers at Gatwick airport handled a total of 906 movements on 29 August, breaking their own world record for air traffic management in a single day from a single runway.
That equates to one take-off or landing every 63s.
Gatwick’s airport air traffic services provider, NATS, claims to be the only operator in the world to have achieved more than 900 aircraft movements in a single day from a single runway – a feat it achieved four times this August. It set the previous record of 895 in 2008, and NATS says that it "has consistently set the benchmark for the number of movements from a single runway".
Steve Anderson, NATS general manager at Gatwick, said: “To achieve over 900 runway movements means everything has to be working in perfect sync – from optimising the order of arriving and departing flights through to fine tuning the arrival spacing. It’s something we have worked incredibly hard at over many years and the team can be rightfully proud of the service we provide.”
The NATS team in the tower are supported by controllers looking after the Gatwick sector of the London Terminal Manoeuvring Area, based at the London Area Control Centre in Swanwick. Anderson added: “They play an absolutely integral role, and achieving 900 movements would not be possible without a NATS-wide team effort.”