GPS is widely used in the transport industry, most obviously by the sat-navs in our cars, but largely due to current levels of signal accuracy and integrity being too low, we’re yet to maximise its use in the aviation industry. This is starting to change, however, with the ongoing development of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).
Visiting pilots to the NATS simulator at a recent CAA/Department for Transport event in Duxford were encouraged to see what the world looks like through the eyes of a controller, especially when dealing with infringing traffic.
Sat at the simulator, pilots watched the busy radar and had to make quick-fire decisions to avoid the infringing aircraft as well as continuing to allow commercial traffic to land and take off.
The display at the National Museum of Computing has a controller workstation from the 1980’s alongside a state of the art simulation of systems from the Swanwick Centre and a busy airport tower. We’ve added some historical artefacts and a timeline of NATS linkages with Bletchley Park to celebrate our joint heritage. If you are interested in computers or air traffic control, the museum is an excellent day out and if you visit I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together.
A while back NATS tweeted an image of the electronic flight strip and a follower asked if we’d explain the information the strip contains.
In simple terms, an electronic flight strip is a way for an air traffic controller to see all the relevant information about a specific aircraft; what it’s doing and where it’s going. There are actually different types of strip and as a tower controller I’m going to walk you through what I use: Electronic Flight Progress System (EFPS).
As Air Traffic Management (ATM) becomes ever-busier, more complex and more inter-connected across different Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), it is timely to consider how human performance is best optimised for smooth, efficient and safe handling of air traffic.
Human performance is especially important in ATM as it is a 24/7 industry which strongly depends on people. Aviation needs its frontline staff to be on top performance in order to maintain the safety and efficiency of the air transport system.
Every year the International Air Transport Association (IATA) brings its members together for an Operations Conference. This year the conference was in Los Angeles and focused on the challenge and opportunity from introducing new technology to enhance safety, efficiency and capacity.
Hosting major international sporting events presents both challenges and opportunities, with the invisible infrastructure above our heads playing an integral role in the planning process.