Medical team wins Bournemouth deal
NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services and solutions, has signed a deal with Bournemouth International Airport to provide medical assessments to its air traffic controllers.
The deal marks the first time that NATS, which already conducts aviation medicals and offers an occupational health service to its own employees, will provide services to a third party.
Maged Girgis, NATS’ Senior Medical Officer who took the lead in negotiations with Bournemouth International Airport, explained: “We provide an excellent service to NATS employees – performing medicals and working hard to find solutions for controllers who have been declared unfit so that they can regain their medical certificates.
“Our expertise in air traffic control medicine and knowledge of the working environment has been recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who has given us Aeromedical Centre Status.”
And that is something that the team at Bournemouth clearly valued – signing a contract that will see NATS’ Occupational Health Service perform renewal medicals and provide an aero-medical consultancy service for the airport’s own 20-strong controller team.
Bournemouth’s Air Traffic and Operations Manager, Cathy Willoughby-Crisp, has already seen the benefits of the partnership.
Cathy said: “The NATS medical team takes a pragmatic approach to medical conditions. They consider every case on its individual merits and work on our behalf with the CAA to resolve the issues without undue delay.
“We have been unfortunate with controller sickness in recent months. As a small unit this invariably has a significant effect on resources, but the impact has been greatly eased by the swift reinstatement of the controller’s medical certificate, resulting from NATS intervention.”
In addition to its work at Bournemouth, NATS is also in the process of establishing a service offering medicals for commercial pilots at Farnborough Airport.
NATS’ Chief Medical Officer, John Roberts, added: “NATS has a great track record in providing medical services to our own air traffic controllers and we are very keen to start putting that expertise into practice with other organisations.”