Airspace

Building on the research and the experience of live trials with SATAVIA, we hope to get a better understanding of what contrail formation means for our controllers and operation over the North Atlantic and how we could implement avoidance strategies without increasing fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions.

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Earlier this month, I was invited to present at the Asia Pacific (APAC) Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation CEO Committee Meeting to talk about our recent deployment of Free Route Airspace and the benefits it could deliver across the region.

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FlyZero is looking to realise the UK’s ambition to develop a zero-carbon emission aircraft. Nearly a year on the project has reported its findings, which demonstrate the huge potential of green liquid hydrogen to power even long-haul aircraft.

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The Covid pandemic had a huge impact on aviation. Almost overnight the volume of traffic in the UK dropped hugely, by up to 90%. But this also provided an unexpected opportunity to see how we could use the UK’s airspace more efficiently.

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There were nine go-arounds in a row at one point at Heathrow, and 40 in total between 07:00 and 14:00, when usually we might see one a day. Add in similar problems at other airports and you’re suddenly dealing with a very complex, dynamic and challenging environment. 

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Portsmouth has a long and proud military history.  It’s a near neighbour of some of NATS’ main sites, notably our Swanwick Centre which is still unique in the world in having military and civil ATC working alongside each other.  Many of our colleagues are part of the Armed Forces community, from Veterans to Reservists to […]

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We talk often about airspace modernisation and how it’s progressing, but we haven’t talked before about how we prepare our controllers for a new airspace design. 

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Last week, on 2nd December 2021, NATS implemented the biggest airspace change ever undertaken in the UK and introduced Free Route Airspace for the first time into UK skies. It’s an exciting milestone in a project which has been underway for over five years and will enable huge fuel, flight time and CO2 savings. But what is Free Route Airspace (FRA) and what does it mean for airlines? 

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Annual investments in the drone industry reached a record high in 2020, over 90% of which were in the manufacture of electric flying taxis. Within the next five years, passenger-carrying piloted flying taxis are expected to start low-density operations across cities in the UK, at a rate that’s projected to exceed existing helicopter traffic.

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The clocks have gone back and with that we’re into the winter flying schedule and what are usually the quieter months of the year once the summer season ends. And while the traffic volumes may have followed that annual trend, I’m really encouraged to see that traffic percentages are creeping up … slowly but surely. 

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