The voting is over. The poll is closed. The hustings are at an end. After weeks of searching for the definitive answer to what is the greatest single technological innovation in the history or air traffic control, we have an answer.
Since the days of the first control tower 100 years ago – complete with its flags and lamps – airport air traffic control has followed one very simple principle – see aircraft, control aircraft. But as airports have grown in size over the century, it’s become more and more difficult to give the air traffic controllers the best possible view of […]
Seventy years ago, there was a revolution in air travel. Radio Detection and Ranging – or ‘radar’ – gave air traffic controllers their eyes on the skies. They could see aircraft, in real time, anywhere. Well, almost anywhere. The truth is radar has always had one inescapable limitation – you need something solid to build one on…
For my money the advent of flight data processing and the revolution in capacity and safety it has brought about absolutely deserves its moment in the spotlight in the history of air traffic control. Modern aviation simply wouldn’t exist without it.
Without an accurate and dependable picture of what’s going on in the skies above us, managing the 2.6 million flights a year we typically see in the UK would be impossible.
There is no doubt that radio was a game-changer for the first generation of airline pilots. Instead of flying ‘blind’, radio offered pilots the support of a dedicated team of people on the ground tasked with helping them safely reach their destination. It’s a relationship that persists to this day.
Over the next five weeks we’ll be profiling five innovations, with experts from across NATS making the case for why their chosen innovation deserves to be crowned the greatest, but it’s you that will decide the ultimate winner.
The use of the phonetic spelling alphabet – Alfa, Bravo, Charlie etc – is a common sound in air traffic control towers and centres around the world, but where did it come from and why does everyone use the same one?
To celebrate International Women’s Day this Sunday 8 March and the 100th anniversary year for air traffic control, we are giving 100 lucky winners the opportunity to win a NATS goody bag, featuring one of our commemorative retro patches.
This year marks 100 years since the birth of air traffic control services in the UK – at Croydon Airport in south London. Today, we are on the verge of another revolution in air traffic control.
Quite rightly, there is now huge focus on how we can make flying more environmentally sustainable. People want to fly, and aviation has opened up global markets that nobody imagined 100 years ago. We won’t be turning the clock back – we just have to get smarter at how we fly.