Improving Performance

For more than 15 years, NATS has been closely involved with CHIRP, an organisation set up in 1982 to provide a totally independent, confidential reporting facility for members of the aviation and maritime community, with the aim of contributing to the enhancement of safety in these industries.

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In March 2019 NATS won approval to use ADS-B to provide a full radar service for helicopter operations in the North Sea. This is the first approval of its kind allowing the use of ADS-B to this level in the UK.

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We’ve been working with European partners on several solutions to increase airspace capacity and cost efficiency; improve safety and predictability and provide greater fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability.  We are testing a new systemised airspace management tool (SYSMAN) and how it interacts with queue management systems especially Arrival Manager (AMAN), and Airport Demand Capacity Balancing (Airport-DCB).

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It’s now been over two months since we introduced the Aireon service over the North Atlantic and we’re getting a clear picture of what all that means in terms of early benefits to our customers.

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I was in Brussels last month for Eurocontrol’s Artificial Intelligence in Aviation event for a chance to cut through the hype and look at real, practical ways in which this disruptive technology can help transform how the aviation industry works, and the challenges that exist in getting there.  

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In tonight’s episode of Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport, you’ll have seen the impact the Gatwick drone incident had on the team of controllers at Heathrow, and the wider airport, but of course that was just part of the story.

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At the end of March, a revolution will begin in the skies over the North Atlantic, as for the first time in the history of air travel, earth orbiting satellites will be used to monitor and manage flights in near real-time.

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The idea that a digital tower can mean only that you look to replicate exactly what a controller can already see – the application we see most of around the world – is forcing constraints on the technology that don’t need to exist. This technology is revolutionary, so why strive to only recreate what we already have?

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is expecting 7.8 billion passengers to travel in 2036, nearly double the number in 2017. The biggest spike comes from the Asia Pacific region, which saw the highest air traffic growth of 9.6% last year, underscoring the tremendous growth of economies there.

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Advancing aviation, keeping the skies safe is what we strive to do every day. Not just in our own airspace, but across the world. This week, a team from NATS will be presenting at the Global ATM Safety Conference to share some of the work that we have been doing on a Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems (SoE in SMS) measurement tool.

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