Aircraft have been tracked using radar for more than 70 years, but now an emerging technology using GPS navigation (ADS-B) is at the forefront of the next generation of air traffic control tools. You can see it in action in the map below.
ADS-B, which stands for automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, makes aircraft equipped with the right datalink and GPS equipment – currently approximately 70 per cent of commercial aircraft – visible in real time, it is anticipated that once fully developed it will replace radar for operational use.
It also provides the data infrastructure for inexpensive flight tracking and planning and is used to enhance the experience for people using widely-available aircraft spotter and finder apps.
We have joined forces with Pinkfroot, the developers of the Plane Finder app to offer Visual Flight Rules (VFR) charts as a bolt-on wallpaper style extra for those interested in seeing more detail. Pinkfroot also developed the ADS-B map above.
NATS is the UK's leading provider of air traffic control services. Each year we handle 2.2 million flights and 220 million passengers in UK airspace.
In addition to providing services to 15 UK airports, we work in more than 30 countries around the world spanning Europe, the Middle East , Asia and America.
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