Ruth Cadbury MP visited NATS’ Corporate and Technical Centre to immerse herself in the organisation’s training scheme.

Ruth Cadbury, Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth, discussed the training students undertake and the skills required to be an air traffic controller which helped her to gain a more personal insight into the training being carried out by NATS. This was followed with representatives from NATS who addressed some of the topics arising from the discussion.

Ms Cadbury visited NATS Swanwick Air Traffic Control Centre following an earlier visit to NATS’ Heathrow site as part of her Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship. Her Fellowship is centred on the theme of skills, looking at a variety of sectors including, technology, manufacturing and outsourcing.

During the visit, Ms Cadbury was met by Wendy Howard-Allen, Deputy General Manager Terminal Control who explained more about the operation at Swanwick, which is responsible for managing over 6000 flights per day over large parts of the UK, as well as the busy and complex airspace over London.

The visit to Swanwick was Ms Cadbury’s second visit with NATS, following a successful visit to the control tower at Heathrow last month where she learnt more about how NATS manages aircraft and airspace, and how they are contributing to (Single European Sky ATM Research) SESAR.

Commenting on the visit Ruth Cadbury MP, said:

“I have had a fascinating day today, and it was great to see the students so enthused about the work they are doing. A particular highlight of the day for me was the simulator experience and it is no wonder the students are getting so much out of their time here.

“My visit to Heathrow was particularly insightful. With aircraft noise being such a major issue for my constituency, I am interested in the airspace, particularly in what that means for communities that are so close to Heathrow. This was a wonderful start to my IPT Fellowship”

Luke Law, Parliamentary Communications Manager, NATS added:

“It was our pleasure to host Ruth, the round table discussion allowed for a stimulating debate and we hope Ruth got as much out of it as our students did. We always value discussions with Parliamentarians, especially given the Government’s 49% stake in us, and the work the IPT does to facilitate these non-lobbying, non-partisan discussions is extremely worthwhile.