Nats boss repeats apology for Christmas tech glitch

Nats boss repeats apology for Christmas tech glitch

The boss of the National Air Traffic Service (Nats) today repeated an apology for chaos caused before last Christmas due to a technical glitch.

Chief executive Martin Rolfe was speaking as Nats reported a rise in pre-tax profits to more than £200 million in the year to March against £157.5 million in the previous 12 months.

Annual revenue is up from £917.6 million to £922.4 million.

Rolfe said: 
"The past year saw some good growth for the UK aviation sector. Air traffic volumes increased compared with the previous year, reflecting improvements in the economy.

“I am pleased to report that Nats supported our airline and airport customers by maintaining our excellent overall safety, service and environmental performance.

"Our profit before tax was £200.3 million, which was £42.8 million higher than the previous year. Our underlying performance remained strong and our results reflected far lower exceptional charges for redundancy and goodwill impairment.

"We have not lost sight of the technical failure at Swanwick in December 2014. On behalf of Nats, I apologise again for the inconvenience caused to passengers and our customers.

“We are pleased that the independent enquiry report acknowledged that safety was not compromised at any time and it recognised the quality and timeliness of Nats' response.

“We will be implementing the majority of the enquiry's recommendations."

He revealed that Nats plans a 21% cut in prices by 2019 “while retaining the excellent safety and service standards that our customers rely on”.

More than 240 million passengers flew safely through the UK and North Atlantic airspace over the 12 months, with the overwhelming majority experiencing no delay due to Nats, according to chairman Paul Golby.


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