NATS works in over 30 countries and we often host guests from around the world to discuss future opportunities and share knowledge and expertise.

Most recently, China’s Qingdao Municipal Government sent Jia Wang, Vice-Director of the Qingdao European and African Office, to Hampshire and NATS’ Swanwick Control Centre was on her agenda.

The Shandong Province in eastern China, home to Qingdao, is in the process of building 17 new airports and Ms Wang’s visit was a chance to explore previous work NATS has done with airport development and capacity management.

We hosted Ms Wang at Swanwick, showing her the London Area and Terminal Control operations, as well as a demonstration of the iFACTS tools our controllers use to predict aircraft positions up to 18 minutes into the future.


Swanwick Business Visits Co-ordinator, Jasmine Wang, Vice Director Qingdao Municipal Foreign Affairs Office, and me.

The intention was to demonstrate how we manage traffic in one of the most complex areas of airspace in the world, how we help airports to maximise their performance and our work with other ANSPs to improve capacity.

Impressed by our operation and what we are doing to help optimise airport efficiency, Ms. Wang is hopeful that NATS can assist the airports in Qingdao during the current period of growth in the region. This could be the start of a very valuable relationship between NATS and the Shandong Province and we were honoured to spend some time with Ms Wang talking about our expertise.

The visit followed a week spent at the China ATM Forum, which was hosted by the Transport Commission of Shenzhen Municipality. Not only were we in attendance, but the team played a key role in the event hosting an exhibition stand and chairing one of the sessions. Our Director of International Strategy, Jonathan Astill, also delivered a presentation to delegates on the importance of partnership working within the industry.

China, with its aviation growth plans, is certainly a country we look forward to working with while building on the relationships we already have there. Ms Wang’s visit coincided with news of the possibility of more direct flights between China and the UK,so it is definitely an interesting time for the aviation industry in our two countries.

[Header image by byeangel via Flickr]


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