Gatwick Airport buys innovative NATS solution to cut delay and emissions

22 July 2010

The new owner of Gatwick Airport, the world’s busiest single runway civil airport, has awarded a contract to NATS Services to improve operational efficiency, cutting passenger delays and reducing aircraft emissions.

Global Infrastructure Partners has chosen NATS Services to install and operate the innovative Airport Collaborative Decision-Making (A-CDM) service the company has developed to synchronise better the management of the airfield.  Gatwick is the first airport to adopt the full A-CDM service suite offered by NATS Services.

A-CDM pulls together onto one screen or hand-held device all the different streams of information about aircraft including their current position, accurate forecasts of arrival times and optimum departure sequences.  It can even provide a live radar picture of the airport.  All this information enables airport, airline and air traffic managers as well as the many support services across the airport, in fine-tuning minute-to-minute, hour-by-hour operational decision-making.

With as many as 100 people, from caterers to refuelling teams, involved in each of the daily 900 runway movements at Gatwick, significant operational improvement is possible by enabling all those teams to work from the same set of information about aircraft.  The system will also speed recovery from operational disruptions, with A-CDM enabling a more co-ordinated response across Europe.

David Wilson, Head of Airside Operations at Gatwick, said: “We’re committed to developing capacity at Gatwick in an environmentally responsible way.

“A-CDM will not only increase the airport’s capacity, it will also allow us to improve our aircraft stand management, traffic flows, taxi times and reduce congestion. This is already the world’s busiest civil runway, and this will lead to more efficient operations, lower emissions and lower costs for our airlines.

“Passengers will benefit from fewer delays and more accurate information on flight information screens because the software means flights can be tracked along the entire journey, rather than just on approach or departure.”

NATS Services Transport Solutions Director John Swift said: “NATS Services A-CDM is a platform that can help any airport improve its operational efficiency, especially those that are runway capacity-constrained.

“We are delighted that our long-standing relationship with Gatwick continues under its new ownership and that they are first to select our full A-CDM solution.  We look forward to continuing to support the airport’s drive to increase capacity and efficiency in the future.

“NATS CDM technology has been integrated successfully on both Next Gen & SESAR testbed platforms.

“This reinforces our position as a conduit to linking the major technology programmes on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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