With traffic reaching unprecedented levels and forecast to continue growing in the years to come, it’s vital that we maximise our airspace capacity. Understanding the traffic demand is essential to achieving this. Without an accurate demand forecast, it’s challenging to make best use of the resources – particularly staff, airspace and sector configurations – that help deliver that capacity.
Last month we welcomed representatives from the Department for Transport (DfT) and the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) to our Swanwick Centre to see some of the work we’re doing to modernise our ATM systems as part of the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme.
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.
NATS has played a major role in the SESAR R&D programme since 2009 working with colleagues from across Europe. We are now embarking on the next wave of collaborative R&D through SESAR 2020.
As we set a course for the new year, we thought it was a good time to reflect on our most popular web content for 2016; it gives us the chance to look again not just at the blog, but also our popular Discover features and the Drone Assist app.
It will be interesting to see how the RPAS industry evolves in the coming years and what regulatory framework emerges around “drones”. The UK government has set out an ambitious strategy that wants to see the full integration of unmanned and manned aircraft by 2020, so the next few years are sure to be very exciting.
SESAR is showcasing its success stories in a number of critical areas, such as enabling greener aviation, increasing connectivity and mobility, advancing the digitalisation and virtualisation of ATM, and ensuring the safe integration of new types of aircraft, such as unmanned aircraft.
Next week a major European aviation conference comes to London. Aerodays is the European Commission’s flagship event in aviation research and development.
GPS is widely used in the transport industry, most obviously by the sat-navs in our cars, but largely due to current levels of signal accuracy and integrity being too low, we’re yet to maximise its use in the aviation industry. This is starting to change, however, with the ongoing development of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).