Today, we announced the launch of FLOSYS, a new real time tool that will help our business better understand the environmental and fuel performance of the aircraft we provide a service to.
This means that our controllers will be able to see the 3Di score for every flight, going back up to 12 months, and see which performed particularly well, which didn’t and to start asking the question why.
And of course it’s the ‘why’ that is the most important. Even with the best will in the world it is impossible to provide an environmentally optimised service to every single aircraft, every day. It’s certainly what we aspire to but a few thunderstorms, for example, can very quickly see us having to tear up our normal plans and procedures.
But it is our hope that by giving our controllers and the wider business access to this kind of immediate and very granular data, we can better understand why some flights achieve a very high level of environmental and fuel efficiency and why others don’t. Armed with that kind of data driven intelligence we can then start of the process for identifying areas where we can save our airline customers fuel, time and CO2, whether that’s through more direct routes, smoother climbs and descents or changes to airspace structures.
We have an interim target to save an average of 4% of CO2 from the average flight by the end of this year ahead of saving 10% by 2020, so initiatives like FLOSYS are absolutely vital to our progress.
FLOSYS has been in the works in one form or another for the past two years. It started with the simple desire to get more data into the hands of our operational people. As you might expect, NATS handles enormous quantities of data every day but traditionally there has been no way to get easy or immediate access to it.
We started working with Altran Prime, with the first step being to talk to our operational employees to understand exactly what data they wanted and what would be useful. Then, together with SPACE – our in-house innovation lab – Altran Prime built a prototype using some mocked up data as a proof of concept.
The challenge was then to bring the idea to life by accessing a live feed of UK radar data and visualising it. Working together with Altran UK and Lockheed Martin, we built two further prototypes before arriving at the end product we launched today: a near real time feed of UK flight data, coupled with a web based interface that is both a powerful tool and simple to access and maintain.
The teams at Swanwick Centre will be the first to have FLOSYS access, with controllers being able to drill down to individual flights, routes or airspace sectors, and all being well we want to roll it out across the NATS operation next year.
Please respect our commenting policy and guidelines when posting on this website.