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.

We caught up with Dan Townsend, the Airside Operations and Safety Manager at Southampton Airport to check how Robird is settling in.

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Starting tomorrow, the sectors that control Heathrow, Gatwick and the airspace to the South and South-East of these airports will switch over to EXCDS. This is obviously a particularly busy area of airspace, covering the approach function for the UK’s two busiest airports.

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Leaders in the aviation industry headed to Madrid for the sixth annual World ATM Congress last week to catch up on the latest technologies and conversations in ATC. NATS had a large presence at the event, focusing on three core themes…

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We understand you launched the first drone police unit earlier this year; what was the rationale behind that?

I was frustrated while dealing with an incident that our only aerial asset, a police helicopter, was deployed on another task so I was unable to get vital aerial footage that I needed for an investigation.

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Digital towers are one of the hottest topics around the industry at the moment, so last week we asked our LinkedIn followers to fire their burning questions at us for us to answer. So here they are.

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I served in the Royal Air Force for around 7 years prior to joining NATS.  Although Air Traffic Control was a career that I always wanted to get into, I assumed that I’d need to be super qualified, so I never explored it any further. 

When I finally decided that I needed a new challenge in life, my attention drew back to ATC, and luckily by now the internet was readily available so I was able to carry-out some research.  Realising the career was accessible I submitted my application and my first round of assessments were booked without hesitation.  

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The idea of Artificial Intelligence might seem like something for the future, but it is here already and the potential uses are growing by the day and last year we introduced machine learning to help us predict the likelihood of potential safety events in our London Terminal Control operation.

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Much of Britain is bracing itself for snow and ice this week as the ‘Beast from the East’ arrives from Siberia to set up residence over the UK for the next few days.

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The recent deployment of EXCDS in to the London Terminal Control operation at NATS was the successful culmination of nearly three years of collaboration between NATS and NAV CANADA on the project.

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Ever since I can remember I’ve been interested in aviation. I originally had plans to become a pilot, but after studying Aeronautical Engineering, I looked into Air Traffic Control and was instantly interested.

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