Improving Performance

The way air traffic flies in to and out of Farnborough Airport was recently changed, as the airport’s Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) was implemented. Most people won’t have noticed the overnight transition, but to make sure that everything went smoothly it required a huge amount of effort from people around our business.  We have a […]

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Earlier this year we started a project looking at whether we could apply a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ultra-HD camera technology to help cut weather- related delays at Heathrow. Here’s an update on what we’re doing next.

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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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