NATS is busy preparing for the 26th Bi-Annual North American/European Air Traffic Flow Management Task Force (NAMEUR) Meeting, which was last held in Iceland. Meetings are twice a year to ensure issues being addressed remain in focus and momentum is maintained.
This time the NAMEUR Task Force arrives in Dublin, Ireland for the event which runs from 29th September to 1st October 2015, with NATS once again co-chairing alongside United Airlines.
NAMEUR brings together air traffic control and airline operation staff from both sides of the North Atlantic to help resolve day-to-day issues, improve traffic flow and therefore reduce costs for flights operating between Europe and North America. NAMEUR focuses on how these flights both enter and leave the North Atlantic airspace, providing an opportunity for those responsible for operating and managing flights on a day-to-day basis to share their experiences and exchange ideas for the future.
It also includes airline pilots and flight dispatchers, flight planning systems staff and air traffic controllers all of whom spend time going through their plans and procedures to ensure flights are managed in a safe and efficient way.
At the 26th NAMEUR meeting in Dublin, one of the key issues expected to be discussed will be how the reduced spacing of flights in North Atlantic airspace, an initiative due to commence in November 2015, will affect how flights arrive into the United Kingdom and Ireland. I shall be in the co-chairing role and am looking forward to seeing how NAMEUR progresses this, along with other agenda items. I am also excited to see which new issues will be identified for future resolution.
The key strength of the NAMEUR group, and the reason it has gone from strength to strength since being formed in 2002, is the way in which it brings all the key North Atlantic airline operations and air traffic control (ATC) experts together in one room and enables improvements to be identified and made quickly.
From a small group of approximately 12 people, the group has grown significantly. The meeting in Ireland is expected to have almost 70 representatives attending, which in addition to NATS includes FAA, Nav Canada, Eurocontrol, Nav Portugal, IAA and Isavia on the ATC side and Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, American Airlines, Air Canada, KLM, Delta Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar, DHL, Fedex and United States Air Force on the airline side.
The future is all about data sharing and measuring performance to identify efficiencies. These are areas where NAMEUR has had past successes, including the introduction of daily teleconferences between NATS, FAA and Airlines, improvements in the exchange of data between North America and the European ATC agencies, the introduction of European fuel-saving routes at night and the removal of flight routeing restrictions. The latter two have both reduced airline costs along with CO2 emissions.
The 26th NAMEUR is being hosted by the Irish Aviation Authority and updates will be available via the NAMEUR Twitter feed @NAMEUR_ATFM and by following the hashtag #NAMEUR26 on Twitter.
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