UK air traffic management company NATS will receive up to £92m in funding to maintain its service amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The funding is a part of the £1.1bn support package provided to the air navigation service providers in Europe to aid them in maintaining operations despite the decrease in passenger services.
The intergovernmental organisation EUROCONTROL was backed by European countries, including the UK, to secure a loan to support the air navigation services.
With this funding, NATS can continue to provide services, support repatriation and cargo flights and ensure that it will resume full operations after the pandemic to aid the aviation sector’s recovery.
The Government of UK, which has a 10% share in the vote for any action passed by EUROCONTROL, had voted in favour of the loan.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The effect of coronavirus is being felt right across the aviation sector, which is why we have announced an unprecedented package of support measures to help firms through this extremely testing period.
“Air navigation service providers rely on airlines operating for their revenue, so this support will enable them to continue providing their safety critical services, as we help stranded Brits get home and transport vital medical supplies.
“Following the announcement last week that airlines would be able to temporarily defer payments for route charges for up to 14 months, this arrangement provides financial relief to air navigation service providers also facing disruption as a result of coronavirus.”
NATS took over tower operations at St Athan Airfield in Wales earlier this month. The organisation became responsible for the tower and air traffic engineering teams, combining this with the other 13 airports in the UK where it manages air traffic.