Technology & Innovation

Asia Pacific has gone from being one of the fastest growing to among the slowest to emerge from the impact of Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions. That said, although there has been a relatively fragmented recovery over the past months, certain countries have been quicker to return than others.

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In August’s episode of Altitude, we had a fascinating discussion about the future of Urban Air Mobility and eVTOL ‘flying taxis’. We had some very astute questions from the audience, many of which we just didn’t have the time to get to during the live show. So, with that in mind, I wanted to address a few more here.

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The NATS Analytics team – with backgrounds ranging from data science, mathematics and statistics to aeronautical engineering and air traffic control – was instrumental in producing the safety assessment that supported new oceanic global separation reductions and calculated the significant safety benefits due to the frequent and accurate positional updates.

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Giving an engineer a RADAR to train on is akin to giving a real-life Ferrari to a Scalextric fan.  That’s what NATS Training Services did for Liverpool and Doncaster engineers. When the airports asked if we could provide a representative RADAR for the training course, the answer was a resounding yes. 

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From 1 March, anyone flying at Flight Level 330 and below will be able to do so entirely free from of the OTS structure. This change means anyone operating at those levels will have the flexibility to file a random route plan and choose the trajectory that suits them.

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Friday 12 November is International ATSEP day – which is all about recognising and celebrating our colleagues who help to keep our equipment operational and safe. We took time out to speak to colleagues from around our Technical Services team to find out more about ATSEP, what it means to them and how it affects our business.

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With airports so impacted by the Covid crisis, tools like Intelligent Approach that help airports utilise runways and airspace more efficiently, for a fraction of the investment needed for new ground-based infrastructure, will be more valuable than ever to operators as traffic returns.

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Being able to detect and report the weather is important for a tower controller, so they can understand the effects it will have on the operation and procedures. This skill is even more valuable when controlling from a digital tower, where you are not actually where the weather is.

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With airports so badly hit by the impact of the Covid crisis, being able to maximise the value and efficiency of existing assets – especially runways – is going to be of critical importance over the coming years as we begin to see traffic return.

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The dramatic fall in traffic we’ve seen across the Atlantic has given us a window of opportunity to do things differently, and to introduce things more quickly than otherwise might have been possible. So, we’re going to disband the Organised Track Structure on days where we don’t believe they are necessary.

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