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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 17:34 GMT
Statement from National Air Traffic Services
In response to the programme, The Day Britain Stopped, the following statement was issued by National Air Traffic Services.

"National Air Traffic Services believes that this programme not only fails to portray standard operational procedures accurately, but in doing so, paints an unfair and misleading picture of UK air traffic operations.

In particular, there is no mention that the two aircraft involved in this fictitious incident would have been fitted with on-board collision avoidance systems which, combined with air traffic control's Conflict Alert system, would have prevented the 'accident'.

Furthermore, the programme inaccurately portrays Heathrow's standard go-around procedures and the way air traffic controllers at Heathrow communicate with each other and with the West Drayton unit.

The programme takes insufficient account of the traffic flow management procedures and ground movement radar systems, and inaccurately portrays the context in which airspace sectors are combined.

This programme presents itself as dramatised documentary. However, it is not only based on a highly unlikely scenario, but deliberately ignores - or misrepresents - almost every standard safety system or procedure currently in use.

NATA keeps these procedures under constant review and, as a consequence, the UK has maintained its exemplary air safety record despite rising levels of traffic. In our view, this programme is highly inaccurate and needlessly alarmist."


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