When it comes to air traffic control (ATC), our top priority is ensuring the safety of the skies. To achieve this, we sometimes need to implement what are called Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) measures. Essentially, these measures allow us to manage demand in different parts of the airspace so that traffic levels always remain safe.
We are proud to announce that NATS has scooped the Transformation Project of the Year Award at this year’s Association for Project Management (APM) Awards. This recognition comes as a result of the exceptional project delivery of West Airspace Deployment (West), one of the largest and most technically challenging airspace changes ever undertaken.
The last four years have been a fast, furious R&D journey which started when a project called Future Flight Challenge dropped onto my desk. Since then, alongside innovative industry partners who are also part of advancing future flight in the UK, we have been helping to prepare the airspace and airports for a new generation of users.
This week, I was privileged to represent NATS at the Project Caelus flight trials, which demonstrated that drones are on their way to becoming an important part of the aviation industry, and indeed, everyday life.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance communications technology has the potential to improve the accuracy of ATC prediction and queue management tools, generating significant safety and environmental benefits.
Future Flight 1 and 2 helped us to understand how new eVTOLS and drones move, operate and perform. Phase 3 of Future Flight will move us to the next stage, showing us how new airspace users could interact with existing air traffic, at airports and in a shared airspace.
Big jets, bustling airports and exciting destinations may be the conventional image of aviation. But the industry is on the cusp of profound change, with eVTOL aircraft and mass drone operations set to transform our skies in a way we haven’t seen for a hundred years.
Underpinning that new world we need solid foundations, and we’re developing NATS OpenAir to unlock the future of aviation in the UK, revolutionise the way we use airspace and accommodate a new generation of flight.
No longer a future concept, drones are now being used to save lives, and do good for humankind; from delivering medical care to searching for those lost at sea. Russell Porter, Head of New User Engagement, discusses the potential of these advancing technologies and how we’re working together as an industry to integrate into the skies above Britain.
Our focus is on ensuring the UK’s already busy skies are safe and accessible for everyone, with new airspace users one day safely and seamlessly operating alongside conventional crewed aircraft.
Our skies are experiencing a remarkable transformation with the rapid emergence of new airspace users like uncrewed, electric, and high-altitude aircraft. Amidst this dynamic landscape, NATS has been pioneering the use of analytics technologies to revolutionise the way we design safe, efficient, and sustainable airspace networks.