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Richard Deakin






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I was privileged to have the opportunity to address a distinguished audience at the Royal Academy of Engineering at their New Year Reception.

It was an occasion to showcase NATS and its vital role in the UK economy, offering a glimpse of the real air traffic control (ATC) operation today, and hypothesise on what might be seen in the future, as technologies allow us to challenge how we have always done things.

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The new European Commission has indicated that they plan to review the effectiveness of existing legislation before introducing new legislation and I think that’s a good move. They could start by looking at the Single European Sky (SES) initiative.

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It is time for Europe to move to new mechanisms to deliver efficient markets driven through competition and not by regulation, or monopolies, or artificial markets created as a substitute for the innovation and speed that comes with open competition.

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Last week the Secretary of State for Transport addressed an industry lunch, sitting in the audience I was proud when I heard him say ‘the teams that manage and operate the airspace system do a phenomenal job’.

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Despite the enormous expansion and investment, the future of aviation in the Gulf emains in the balance.

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Today, the aviation industry faces the combined impacts of limited runway capacity, airspace congestion, a lack of weather resilience and outdated ATC processes that demand more fuel burn than otherwise could be achieved. The simple truth is that the fulfilment of new aircraft orders will only make this worse.

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Leaders in air traffic management head to Madrid for the World ATM Congress this week. Richard Deakin, CEO NATS, shares his views on why he believes it is at a time when the industry is facing a critical juncture.

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Richard Deakin

NATS experienced a difficult end to 2013 following the technical problem at Swanwick that saw a loss of 10% in airspace capacity for a few hours. But, with the start of a new year comes the chance to refocus on moving forward with the positive agenda that we’ve been able to pursue over recent years.

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Chief Executive, Richard Deakin spoke at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Annual Brabazon Lecture tonight, focusing on the Single European Sky and the challenges that face it.

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We urgently need regulatory reform and common standards to stimulate contestable markets and accelerate progress across Europe, rather than yet more regulation and legislation.

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