Starting tomorrow, the sectors that control Heathrow, Gatwick and the airspace to the South and South-East of these airports will switch over to EXCDS. This is obviously a particularly busy area of airspace, covering the approach function for the UK’s two busiest airports.
Leaders in the aviation industry headed to Madrid for the sixth annual World ATM Congress last week to catch up on the latest technologies and conversations in ATC. NATS had a large presence at the event, focusing on three core themes…
We understand you launched the first drone police unit earlier this year; what was the rationale behind that?
I was frustrated while dealing with an incident that our only aerial asset, a police helicopter, was deployed on another task so I was unable to get vital aerial footage that I needed for an investigation.
Much of Britain is bracing itself for snow and ice this week as the ‘Beast from the East’ arrives from Siberia to set up residence over the UK for the next few days.
With traffic reaching unprecedented levels and forecast to continue growing in the years to come, it’s vital that we maximise our airspace capacity. Understanding the traffic demand is essential to achieving this. Without an accurate demand forecast, it’s challenging to make best use of the resources – particularly staff, airspace and sector configurations – that help deliver that capacity.
Last month we welcomed representatives from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) to our Swanwick Centre to see some of the work we’re doing to modernise our ATM systems as part of the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme.
Back in November 2017, we started transitioning controllers in our London Terminal Control Centre from a system of paper strips to a new electronic flight strips tool called EXCDS. It’s vital that we prepare ourselves for the significant growth in air travel that’s forecast for the years ahead and we need new tools, such as EXCDS, to help us do that.
With traffic forecast to grow significantly over the next decade and ongoing pressures to improve environmental performance and reduce costs whilst maintaining safety, we need to change the way we manage air traffic in the UK.
You might have read the Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) explaining that on 1 January NATS is launching a new GA pre-notification tool as part of an online Airspace Users Portal for all non-standard flight applications. Find out more…