NATS is a global provider of air traffic solutions working in more than 30 countries around the world.

We also provide an air traffic control service at 15 airports in the UK and Gibraltar – and have decided to shine a spotlight on those domestic operations. Over the next few months we will be bringing you a profile of each of our operations, starting today with Stansted.

Looking up at Stansted Tower

Looking up at Stansted Tower

Paul Healey is one of a growing band of senior NATS staff in air traffic control towers that have never been a controller.

As General Manager for ATC Services at Stansted Airport Paul is responsible for ensuring aircraft can take off, land and manoeuvre safely around one of the main London Airports – ensuring the 17.6m passengers a year get to and from their destinations on-time.

An engineer by training Paul was the engineering manager at Stansted when he was promoted to General Manager at Edinburgh, before returning to Essex earlier this year.

“It was a very steep learning curve coming from a non-ATC background and it certainly had its own challenges,” said Paul.

“But I am delighted to be here at Stansted doing this job at what is a time of significant change and growth for the airport.”

The debate on airport capacity, airspace change in the shape of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) and a new owner for the airport has made for a challenging first year back at Stansted.

Stansted Airport’s new owner, MAG, is spending £80m redeveloping the Lord Foster designed terminal to make better use of space and provide passengers with new security facilities and an enlarged departure lounge.

Paul Healey

Paul Healey

The Stansted team of tower controllers, engineers and support staff can see where they need to get to for work a long time before they get there. The distinctive Stansted tower seems even more prominent in the flatter landscape of East Anglia.

“We have a really good team of people here – all my watch managers are the people I would want in those positions,” added Paul.

“They pull together and they know what we want to achieve as a business as well as what our customers MAG want to achieve.”

Meet Paul

Hear Paul discuss the challenges and opportunities that managing the air traffic service at Stansted provides in our video below:


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