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.
Although Scottish schools are back in session, this week hundreds of school children are taking a field trip to an airport to learn all about the importance of Science, Technology, English and Maths at the Scottish Airshow STEM event.
My colleagues have discussed how they became engineers with NATS and the importance of women in engineering. However, professional development is important for everyone and is encouraged by NATS. To be awarded a Fellowship by the IET is a tremendous personal achievement.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are embedded within the skills of people at NATS and keep our operation ticking.