Media Advisory – NATS at the World ATM Congress 2018

23 February 2018

NATS will be a major supporter of the 6th annual World ATM Congress, being held in Madrid on 6-8 March.

Join us on stand 826 to explore the challenges faced by the industry and how NATS is working with airports, ANPS and Governments around the world to unlock performance, create advantage and manage change.

For the first time this year NATS, along with Searidge Technologies, will deliver an immersive digital tower experience from our stand; highlighting the advantages of ‘going digital’ for airports around the world.

NATS will also be covering a range of industry hot-topics on stand, including airport capacity and resilience and drones integration, as well as providing an insight into a number of key partnership projects including SESAR. FerroNATS, the Spanish ANSP owned by NATS and Ferrovial, will also feature on stand.

To pre-arrange an interview on these or other topics, please contact the NATS press office at or call 01489 615945.

Event highlights:

SMART Airports – A realistic future for today

 If industry were to approach the question of how best to provide Air Traffic Management at airports, as if starting from today, what would be the answer? NATS is doing just that, and looking at it as a holistic set of problems that can be overcome through the application of integrated digital technology and know-how.

NATS speaker: Andy Taylor, Head of Customer Solutions

When: Tuesday 6th  15:15 – 15:35

Where: Frequentis Aviation Arena 

Drones: Creating a safe environment for growth

Drones are one of the main challenges facing the Air Traffic Management industry today but also a major opportunity. As regulations gradually evolve to meet the recent rapid growth in recreational drones as well as create a framework for future commercial growth, the importance of engaging with drone users to build their understanding of the airspace and how to fly safely is crucial.

Andy Sage, NATS RPAS Strategy lead, will discuss NATS’ industry-leading education and awareness campaign, which has reached tens of thousands drone users in the UK; work to develop a no-drone zone map for the UK, covering not only airspace but also areas of critical national infrastructure and of security interest; and recent developments in registration, training and UTM development in the UK, as well as thoughts on where the industry needs to go next.

NATS speaker: Andy Sage, Account Director (Drones)

When: Wednesday 7th  14:15 – 14:35

Where: Frequentis Aviation Arena  

New training needs in the ATC’s liberalisation process

In an increasingly interconnected world, air traffic control is of supreme importance to citizens’ everyday lives. Movement of freight and passengers by air is increasing year after year, forcing exponential expansion and improvement in ATC systems. Fortunately, technology is coming to the aid of these growing demands. However, this transformation and upgrade effort has one unavoidable consequence: the need for new talent.

As a result of this challenge, FerroNATS is launching its own air traffic controller training academy. SkyWAY aspires to attract Spain’s most talented youths and respond to the Spanish market’s new training needs and demands.

Speaker: Rogelio Pérez Liñán, Director of Skyway

When: Tuesday 6th 14:40 – 15:00

Where: Aireon Spotlight Stage

Time Based Separation (TBS): Optimising runway operations at Heathrow Airport

Time Based Separation at Heathrow Airport represents one of the most successful SESAR deployments to date, reducing arrival delays caused by headwinds at Europe’s busiest airport by more than 60% and contributing to a reduction of over 100,000 minutes of airborne holding per annum. The first phase of a new Enhanced Time Based Separation system using the RECAT-EU wake vortex separations is scheduled to go live in 2018 and is expected to deliver further resilience benefits.

NATS General Manager Customer Affairs, Andy Shand, will give an update on how TBS is helping to improve Heathrow’s operation and how Enhanced TBS will deliver further added value to the airport operation. He will also discuss the work NATS is doing with partners through SESAR 2020 to explore how wake vortex optimisation for departing aircraft could deliver additional benefits.

NATS speaker: Andy Shand, General Manager Customer Affairs

When: Wednesday 7th 11:15 – 11:35

Where: Aireon Spotlight Stage

Global UTM Association: The Role of ANSPs in UTM – Panel Session

How is NATS supporting the development of UTM services in the UK?

Andrew Sage, Account Director (Drones), NATS

When: Thursday 8th 11:30 – 12:10

Where: Fabec Ops Theatre

The Digital Tower Revolution: Leaders in the Industry

Hear directly from the ANSPs leading the way with the implementation of digital tower technology at major airports around the world.  Panellists will provide a view inside their respective programmes, including their objectives/expectations, how digital ATC can enhance their operations, and how technology has evolved from small airport operations to support some of the world’s busiest airports.

NATS Speaker: Andy Taylor, Head of Customer Solutions

Moderator: Jenny Beechener, Freelance Editor, Jane’s Airport Review

When: Wednesday 7th 13:00 – 14:00

Where: ATM Theatre 

Session Three: New collaborations in ATM? The changing face of partnerships and alliances in ATM

Increasing liberalisation and commercialisation of air traffic services (ATS) as well as new technologies are changing the nature of air traffic management and the structures of companies that provide ATS.

Voluntary cross-border collaboration is increasingly playing a crucial role in delivering the seamless airspace desired by airspace users and policy makers. A range of industrial partnerships, based around both projects and procurements, are now maturing, showcasing the benefits that can be achieved when traditional silos are removed and ANSPs work together and with other industry partners.

What are the key issues that are emerging from industry consolidations, restructuring and new alliances? What are the new forms of partnerships and alliances between ANSPs, ATM industry members and other stakeholders and how will they affect the fundamentals of ATM? What is new in civil/military coordination/cooperation for ATM?

Introduction and Moderator: David McMillan, Chairman, ATM Policy Institute and Gatwick Airport

NATS panellist: Martin Rolfe (NATS), Chair, Borealis Alliance

When: Wednesday 7th  09:15 – 10:30

Where: Main Conference

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