ABOVE: Visiting aircraft will not be able to access the airport for ten days in an upcoming ten week period

Gloucestershire (Staverton) airport is to provide a reduction in Air Traffic Control services this coming summer as it struggles with staffing shortages.

Starting from 8 July, the airport will start its ATC service 30 minutes later than published and end 30 minutes earlier. Additionally, on ten days during a ten-week period, no ATC cover will be provided at all; meaning resident pilots must seek other provision. “This does not mean the Airport is totally shut as operators based here will still be able to take off and land using our indemnity scheme,” explained Airport Managing Director, Jason Ivey, who added that “additional support on these days is also being investigated”.

Gloucestershire airport attributes the shortage in ATC services due to a number of controllers having left, with insufficient time to fully train the five new or recently promoted ACTOS. The airport adds that its new senior leadership team has already put in place a full manpower plan for ATC, ‘covering recruitment, training and succession planning to ensure this difficult situation does not happen in future’. This plan includes the introduction of new ATCO pay scales ‘to help with recruitment and retention’.

“There is a shortage of air traffic controllers throughout the UK at the moment,” commented Chris Brian, Manager, Air Traffic Services at Gloucestershire Airport. “this had led to unprecedented demand from larger airfields for more ACTOs and has made it increasingly difficult for airports like ours to recruit new and existing staff’. However, he extended his thanks to the existing team who are doing “everything possible to support [the airport’s] customers and recover from this situation in the shortest feasible time frame”.

The new hours will be effective from 8 July and will be published on the airport’s website shortly.