Innovation

New ways to increase environmental efficiency

NATS has introduced a number of ground-breaking ways to reduce emissions and save fuel.

Flight profile monitoring tool

Adding to our string of world firsts, we have developed a Flight Profile Monitor (FPM) tool to track aircraft performance at any phase of flight from ground to cruise, to determine where and why there is inefficiency.

By tracking performance we provide the basis for our airport units to drive improvements. This way we can help save fuel, reduce emissions and potentially reduce noise exposure.

3Di

Our strategic target is now supported by an incentivised flight efficiency measurement for our en-route services – known as the ‘3D inefficiency score’ (3Di). There is no equivalent measurement for environmental performance anywhere in the world.

We have developed 3Di in collaboration with a number of airlines (including British Airways, Virgin, BMi, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, EasyJet, Flybe) and IATA and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). It has taken nearly three years of research and development, analysing radar tracks from every flight since January 2010 and further large samples of operations every year going back to 2006. These have enabled us to establish an average efficiency rating for vertical and horizontal trajectories – how smooth a climb and descent, and how direct a route we can provide for each flight.

We first deployed 3Di on 1 January 2012, making us the world’s first air traffic management company to be incentivised on its environmental performance. Initial analysis shows we could save around 600,000 tonnes of CO2 before 2015, saving our customers £120m in fuel costs.

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