Over 70 representatives from the aviation industry joined us at Whiteley, for a Mass Diversion Exercise to trial a new tool being developed by EUROCONTROL. Airlines, airports, the CAA and Department for Transport helped us carry out a full-scale trial of an electronic interface, designed to improve the management of aircraft diversions during runway closures and weather events.
While the last two years have been extremely challenging for aviation, it has also given us an opportunity to find new ways of doing things without the pressure of intense traffic levels. New technologies are advancing rapidly and the way we travel, receive goods, pilot aircraft, and manage airspace are changing as a result.
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.
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.
Can you tell us what the project is about and how the idea of using drones to fill potholes in the UK came about?
This project aims to tackle the Grand Challenge of Zero disruption from street works in UK cities by 2050, by developing robots that will identify, diagnose and repair street-works through minimally invasive techniques, starting with three case studies:
With the volume of air traffic set to increase across Europe in the coming years; it is vital we have the communications infrastructure in place to suppose the exchange of data between Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), Airports and the Military, as well as the Pan-European Network Manager (PENS). PENS is the common network service used primarily by ANSPs and Eurocontrol to share air traffic management data.
Starting tomorrow, the sectors that control Heathrow, Gatwick and the airspace to the South and South-East of these airports will switch over to EXCDS. This is obviously a particularly busy area of airspace, covering the approach function for the UK’s two busiest airports.
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.
We are always looking for new ways to challenge and inspire our thinking; part of that involves making sure that our solutions are not limited to a narrow Air Traffic Management (ATM) perspective and are instead considering how knowledge from other disciplines could be applied to ATM.