Improving Performance

New technologies provide a huge amount of data – how we use that data is part of several European-wide SESAR 2020 projects in which NATS has been involved. In particular, the projects have been exploring how enhanced communications between aircraft and air traffic controllers (ATCOs) could enable environmental, safety, efficiency and cost benefits for the aviation industry.

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Giving an engineer a RADAR to train on is akin to giving a real-life Ferrari to a Scalextric fan.  That’s what NATS Training Services did for Liverpool and Doncaster engineers. When the airports asked if we could provide a representative RADAR for the training course, the answer was a resounding yes. 

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While there are acute differences between our oceanic and domestic operations, there is a great deal we can learn from one to build on the other.

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You’re on the flight deck, sitting on stand and ready to start engines. You call to the tower to request permission to depart, but what if the clearance you get back doesn’t come from a human air traffic controller, but a computer?

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The latest forecasts suggest Europe’s summer traffic levels will be close to 85% of what we saw before the pandemic, with flight numbers even exceeding pre-Covid levels at certain times and in certain places.

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Last week, we were celebrating Learning at Work Week 2022, the national event run by the Campaign for Learning.

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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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