In our response to the impact the pandemic is having on the aviation industry, we have prioritised protecting operational jobs to ensure we have the capacity to manage traffic when it returns. However, the industry is not predicting a return to 2019 traffic levels until 2024 or even 2025, which means painful decisions cannot be avoided. 

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Airports, that up until this year were worried about how they were going to meet the seemingly ever-increasing demand to fly, are now facing the kind of operational challenges most would have never imagined.

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The voting is over. The poll is closed. The hustings are at an end. After weeks of searching for the definitive answer to what is the greatest single technological innovation in the history or air traffic control, we have an answer.

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Since March, we have all been impacted in some way by the measures and changes that we have had to make in response to COVID-19. Our suppliers have also been impacted and their response during this time has been a real testament to the strong relationships we have built over the years

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This week I spoke at The Journey Towards Autonomy in Civil Aerospace event organised by the Aerospace Technology Institute, addressing the challenges of fully automating ATM.   We tend to think of autonomous things as being about self-driving cars or machines doing things without any human input, but automation is something we are now becoming used to in our everyday lives. From our phones making suggestions for us, to our TVs automatically recording […]

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Over the past five weeks, we’ve heard about the best and most brilliant innovations in air traffic control history. From radio in the 1920’s, radar and flight data processing right up to real-time satellite surveillance and digital towers, which are revolutionising ATC today, which one do you think has been the most transformative and the […]

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Since the days of the first control tower 100 years ago – complete with its flags and lamps – airport air traffic control has followed one very simple principle – see aircraft, control aircraft.   But as airports have grown in size over the century, it’s become more and more difficult to give the air traffic controllers the best possible view of […]

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Seventy years ago, there was a revolution in air travel. Radio Detection and Ranging – or ‘radar’ – gave air traffic controllers their eyes on the skies. They could see aircraft, in real time, anywhere. Well, almost anywhere. The truth is radar has always had one inescapable limitation – you need something solid to build one on…

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Collaboration has always been a key part of the way we work at NATS and even during these socially distanced times, we have continued to work closely, even if remotely, with our partners. This has been demonstrated most recently by our work with LVNL, the Dutch air traffic navigation services provider, running Intelligent Approach simulations while maintaining social distancing and engaging virtually across national borders.

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Another heatwave is on the way and with rising temperatures and clear skies comes an increase in General Aviation traffic. Every summer, we see many light aircraft taking to the skies and enjoying for the most part, an uneventful flight in UK airspace. However, this does coincide with an increase in the number of infringements of controlled airspace and this has not been helped by the changing operating hours of some areas during the Covid-19 pandemic, as airports and airlines try to match operating hours and flying schedules with changing levels of demand.

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