Swelling skies in Asia Pacific require a Cruise to Cruise operational approach

Asia is poised to become the largest travel market in the world.  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects global annual passenger traffic to hit seven billion by 2034. By then, more than four in 10 passengers will either be flying to, from or within the Asia Pacific. Today, the figure is about three in 10.

The Asia Pacific aviation industry faces the combined impacts of limited runway capacity, airspace congestion and outdated ATC processes that demand more fuel burn than otherwise could be achieved. 99% of all air traffic management delay can be attributed to the above and the simple truth is that with the anticipated increase in air traffic, this situation will only get worse.

What the industry needs is a total rethink of traditional operational concept away from the idea of ‘gate to gate’ and towards what NATS calls ‘Cruise to Cruise.’ It puts the airport operation at the centre, creating a seamless operation from touchdown to take-off, supported by a package of end-to-end ATM measures that can positively boost airline performance.

It is all about delivering efficient airspace that serves resilient airports with schedules that operate to time while maximising runway capacity and value.

The idea might sound like simple semantics, but this change in mindset is already delivering tangible results. From 2012 to 2014, Airport Collaborative Decision Making helped Gatwick Airport in the UK declare a record breaking 55 movements per hour; Time Based Separation is set to cut headwind delays in half at Heathrow Airport, while Formula 1 technology is now helping NATS optimise taxi and push back times.

This is on top of work we’re doing to trial new P-RNAV departure routes that help save fuel and the world’s first cross border arrivals management trial to cut Heathrow’s holding times.

None of these projects would be possible without a collaborative approach – collaboration with airlines, aircraft manufacturers, ANSPs, airports and regulators. It is the only way to secure sustainable growth for the entire industry.

This holistic approach directly connects runway operations with airspace management into the network, both on the day and in the future through more effective reporting and planning.

Cruise to Cruise connects existing data that is only nominally connected and transforms it into genuinely useful ATM information, removing the gaps from the value chain of ATM and in so doing benefiting all stakeholders: airlines, airports, ANSPs, local residents and the flying public.

Many, if not all, of the inefficiencies evident around the world in ATM service provision stem from a fragmented approach in how that service is provided.  NATS’ Cruise to Cruise approach recognises that efficiencies need to be addressed and unlocked across the whole service delivery chain.

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