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.
I applied to NATS because I knew I didn’t want to go to university as it wasn’t the best option for me. Instead, I applied to three different companies for engineering apprentice roles and after receiving offers from two out of the three, I ultimately decided that NATS’ Early Careers Scheme was the best option for me.
With traffic forecast to grow significantly over the next decade and ongoing pressures to improve environmental performance and reduce costs whilst maintaining safety, we need to change the way we manage air traffic in the UK.
Following a study by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, which reports that only 9% of the UK’s engineering and technology workforce are women, we wanted to act. Last week we welcomed almost 60 teenage girls to NATS as part of our first Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.
Navigation at sea is very different to aviation – with the exception of a few very busy traffic management schemes such as those in the English Channel, ships are largely left to depend upon the training of the captain and self-separation. But on the issue of drones, there is absolute agreement – they are already here and are able to deliver substantial benefit to UK plc.
If you’re reading this at your desk in a warm office, spare a thought for the NATS engineers who are exposed to the elements, all year round working to keep the skies safe.
Skies Above Britain TV show puts the spotlight on our air traffic controllers, but what it doesn’t show you is the army of very talented engineers whose job it is to make sure the technology our controllers rely on is in full working order.