NATS Blog

Here our people share their insights, views and expertise on the world of Air Traffic Management. We cover a broad range of topics from discussing technology and practices today to sharing visions of a potential tomorrow.

July is proving to be a fantastic month for UK avgeeks, having already enjoyed that amazing RAF100 flypast over London, followed by a stunning three days at RIAT and now the prospect of the Farnborough Airshow.

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The Royal International Air Tattoo – or RIAT – starts this Friday and will feature three days of spectacular air displays and stunning aerobatic flying by teams from around the world, with the highlight being a very special flypast to celebrate 100 years of the RAF.

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How do you squeeze a flying armada of one hundred aircraft of various vintages in and out of the world’s most complex piece of airspace? That was the question we were posed last year when the RAF asked us work with them on their 100th anniversary flypast.

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This month, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Swanwick Lakes partnership between NATS and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

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I first started writing these blogs in November 2017, just before the first transition onto EXCDS – the new electronic flight strip system. Four stages of EXCDS implementation have taken place since then which I have documented on this blog – I hope this has provided you with a greater understanding of the work we do here at NATS. I can proudly say that next week, the last of our controllers will start to use EXCDS thus bringing the entire Terminal Control Operation onto an electronic platform. 

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Running since 1972, World Environment Day on 5 June is the United Nations’ flagship day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. This year’s theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ which asks us all reduce our dependence on single use plastic that ends up in our oceans and food chain.

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Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd provides a vital service for local communities in Scotland. Having a strong, considered and sustainable plan that ensures its airports stay open and viable is at the heart of HIAL’s new ATM strategy, which is why, among other changes to controlled airspace and radar technology, it includes the use of digital control towers.

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In advance of next week’s Global Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Association (GUTMA) conference, we caught up with Mark Watson, Head of UTM Service Integration at NATS and ANSP representative on the GUTMA Board, to learn more about what GUTMA is and does and why NATS are involved.

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To be completely honest, I didn’t really know this job existed until I came across it. I was teaching English in Japan for a few years, and then when I moved back to the UK I got involved with film directing. But I wanted a change of career, something that offered stability but was interesting […]

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In April I attended the annual IATA Ops Conference in Ottowa, where we were able to share a vision for transatlantic flights in 2025, jointly developed by us at NATS and the Canadian air traffic service, NAV CANADA. The video we produced is aimed at an aviation audience but hopefully it gives any viewer an idea of the huge amount of work that we’re doing with NAV CANADA to transform transatlantic operations to make it safer, cleaner and far more efficient.

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