From Apollo XI to the Red Arrows, the aerospace industry has a strong tradition of making and wearing embroidered patches or badges.

They give a sense of belonging, pride and they make great collectables! Go along to any airshow and you won’t have to look very far to see a few #avgeeks coated head to toe (almost literally) in embroidered badges of every description.

But despite the hundreds out there, we’re yet to see an example that truly represents the style and substance of being an air traffic controller.

So we need your help.

Seeking inspiration from Skies Above Britain, the new BBC Two series going behind the scenes at NATS Swanwick Centre and Heathrow tower, we want you to design a patch that every air traffic controller would be proud to wear.

And we have a cracking prize on offer. The top four designs will all have the chance to try their hand at air traffic control in our state-of-the-art 360 degree Heathrow simulator. It’s as real as it gets and a chance to see if you have what it takes to control aircraft at one of the world’s busiest airports.

As close as you can get to doing it for real.

As close as you can get to doing it for real.

But wait, there’s more!

The overall winning design, as judged by our panel of experts, will also actually go into production as a special limited edition.

So it’s time to get creative! Remember, these are embroidered badges, so simplicity is the way to go in terms of the design and number of colours you use. Also be conscious that as Skies has shown, the world of air traffic control extends well beyond the airport tower.

Here are a few of our (admittedly terrible) attempts to get you thinking.

How to enter:

Designs need to fit in a 100mm or 4 inch diameter circle. You can submit your design in whatever way suits you:

Post it to us at:

Patch Competition
NATS Communications
4000 Parkway
PO15 7FL

or email it to [email protected]

You can hand draw your design or use a computer, but all entries will be judged on how closely they meet the criteria.

Closing date
We need to have received your designs by 30 September 2016.

Small print
We’ll accept entries from any age, but you must be 13 or over to try our 360 degree Heathrow simulator.

Read our full terms and conditions here.


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