London

London's air traffic expected to hit post-Olympics peak

Aviation experts are predicting air traffic over London to peak on 13 August 2012 because of the Olympics.

There are expected to be up to 200 extra departures from London's airports the day after the closing ceremony.

Figures compiled by consultancy group Atkins predict an extra 240,000 passengers over the 31-day period of the Games compared with normal levels.

But the study found that London's airports would be able to handle the extra demand.

The report was commissioned by the government to help it prepare for the Games.

It suggested that a significant contribution to the increased traffic would be from executive and business flights, which are forecast to account for over 3,000 additional flights during the Games.

The government is proposing to introduce measures to help control the flow of aircraft in the air and on the ground.

The Civil Aviation Authority recently published a number of temporary changes to airspace that will be implemented for the summer of 2012.

The Department of Transport has completed a consultation on the proposal to impose slot co-ordination across most airports in the south east of England during the Games.

Mike Pearson, the airport development director at Atkins, said: "Our work has shown that London's airports can handle the air traffic demands of a large international event such as the Olympics and that they offer sufficient capacity and flexibility to accommodate the varying demands that will be imposed."

But he added that the study had not fully addressed "every possible operational hitch".

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