ATC at Gatwick
London Gatwick Airport is Europe's leading airport for point-to-point flights and has the world's busiest single-use runway, with a maximum of 55 aircraft movements per hour. Located in West Sussex, 29.5 miles (47.5 km) south of Central London, it is the second-largest international airport in the UK by total passenger traffic). It's two terminals (North and South) cover an area of 98,000 m2 (1,050,000 sq ft) and 160,000 m2 (1,700,000 sq ft), respectively.
In 2015 the rolling total of passengers surpassed all forecasts and exceeded 40 million. The airport is a base for scheduled airlines: British Airways (BA), EasyJet, Monarch Airlines, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic and charter operators such as Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways. Gatwick is unique amongst London's airports in its representation of the three main airline business models: full service, low-cost/no frills and charter. As of April 2015, these respectively accounted for 30 percent, 64 percent and 6 percent of Gatwick's seat capacity.
BAA Limited (now Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited) and its predecessors, BAA plc and the British Airports Authority, owned and operated Gatwick from 1 April 1966 to 2 December 2009. On 17 September 2008, BAA announced it would sell Gatwick after the Competition Commission published a report about BAA's market dominance in London and the South East. On 21 October 2009 it was announced that an agreement had been reached to sell Gatwick to a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), who also have a controlling interest in London City.
The statistics associated with Gatwick’s runway are impressive; it is the busiest commercial single use runway in the world. In 2015 Gatwick achieved 40 days in excess of 900 movements with a peak of 934 movements in a single day (San Diego is the second busiest with 500-550 movements a day).
The standards needed to achieve these figures are demanding with coordination across all stakeholders and rapid flexible operations in the forefront.
The airport stakeholders have set about a process of continuous improvement and the introduction of technology to assist the delivery of capacity has been critical. Airport CDM accreditation has been the centrepiece of this process.
Since 1st March 2016 Air Navigation Solutions Ltd has been responsible for air navigation service provision at Gatwick Airport.
The scope of the services to be provided are as follows:
- Aerodrome air traffic control – including, air, ground movement control, delivery and all training
- Air traffic engineering services – including safeguarding and other support services
- Emergency and alerting services
- Meteorological services
The demanding requirements at Gatwick mean ATC training is very specialised. A bespoke selection process has been developed to ensure we recruit the appropriate talent for the unit.