NATS delivers UK first for Edinburgh Airport

12 July 2012

NATS has successfully commissioned the UK’s first Wide Area Multilateration radar system (WAM) supporting a radar separation service.

The WAM system, now operational at Edinburgh Airport, provides NATS’ air traffic controllers with the precise surveillance needed for the separation of arriving and departing flights. NATS installed and validated the technology and brought it into service as the first operational use of WAM surveillance for an approach service in any UK airport.

The Saab Sensis WAM has been delivered ahead of schedule and provides a system that best suits Edinburgh Airport’s current requirements, but is also capable of supporting future technologies.

Iain Harris, NATS Engineering Director, said: “WAM has effectively replaced secondary radar as the terminal area surveillance source for aircraft separation at this busy airport.

“This technology is a more flexible long-term solution that is capable of supporting future technologies and provides greater resilience than the previous secondary radar system.”

WAM uses multiple low-maintenance, non-rotating sensors to triangulate an aircraft’s location based on transponder signals. This provides air traffic controllers with precise aircraft position and identification information regardless of weather conditions, helping to increase the safety, capacity and efficiency of airspace.

Ken Kaminski, Vice President and General Manager of Saab Sensis, said: “WAM provides NATS with the precise surveillance it needs today while being ready for tomorrow’s avionics. Additionally, the system can easily be expanded into a wider surveillance network for en route coverage.”


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