Safety

Monitoring the performance of our air traffic controllers is an incredibly important part of the work we do to keep our skies safe. In May, we launched the NATS Management of Competence System (or NMOCS), a single evidence-based system which is transforming the way we manage the competence of our controllers. Find out more.

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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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Mark Davenport, an air traffic controller looking after airspace around Gatwick, talks about his experience with airspace infringements for this week’s Infringement Series story…

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Advancing aviation, keeping the skies safe is what we strive to do every day. Not just in our own airspace, but across the world. This week, a team from NATS will be presenting at the Global ATM Safety Conference to share some of the work that we have been doing on a Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems (SoE in SMS) measurement tool.

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Creating a positive experience for customers is important in all industries, and this year’s annual AOA conference highlighted it’s no different in the aviation sector.

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This year Luton celebrated its 80th anniversary. In that time, it has grown from a small municipal airfield to the fifth busiest airport in the UK. But handling that growth efficiently and safely doesn’t happen by accident.

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We understand you launched the first drone police unit earlier this year; what was the rationale behind that?

I was frustrated while dealing with an incident that our only aerial asset, a police helicopter, was deployed on another task so I was unable to get vital aerial footage that I needed for an investigation.

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The idea of Artificial Intelligence might seem like something for the future, but it is here already and the potential uses are growing by the day and last year we introduced machine learning to help us predict the likelihood of potential safety events in our London Terminal Control operation.

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Last month my colleague Chris Edwards talked about the transition that’s under way in our London Terminal Control room, where we’re introducing a new digital tool called EXCDS to replace the paper strips currently used by Controllers.

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It’s usually the first question that leaves people’s lips whenever we show them the new digital tower facility at Swanwick – is it really safe?

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