NATS Prestwick hosts aviation industry leaders

27 September 2013

The NATS Prestwick Control Centre was the focus of the aviation world last week, as it hosted several high-profile, back-to-back meetings for the first time, bringing together people from across the aviation industry.

The North American/European (NAM/EUR) Air Traffic Flow Management taskforce convened at the Prestwick Centre from 16-17 September and included adjacent Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), transatlantic carriers and various NATS staff.

NATS is a key member of the NAM/EUR, which is jointly-chaired by Mike Borland, Strategic and Pre-Tactical Network Manager, NATS and Mark Hurston, Regional Manager International Air Traffic Control Operations, United Airlines.

The aim of the NAM/EUR taskforce is to deal with end-to-end flight planning on the North Atlantic and focus on the Flow Management aspects of the domestic interfaces to the North Atlantic and the Northern Airspace.  The bi-annual meetings provide a forum for operational personnel to discuss and resolve issues that affect the domestic interface operations on the North Atlantic. Best-practice and lessons learnt from both sides of the Atlantic are shared in order to improve operations.

The NATS team at Prestwick hosted this meeting of the NAM/EUR to demonstrate their commitment to the group and will continue to be a key player in the NAM/EUR proceedings because of its strategic location and its involvement in the oceanic and domestic areas.

NATS Co-Chair, Mike Borland, said: “NATS were delighted to be able to host such an important event at our control centre in Prestwick. The air traffic control operation that is managed from there covers aircraft flying through northern UK airspace and out into the northern Atlantic – one of the largest areas of responsibility in Europe – and the centre therefore plays a pivotal role.”

Co-Chair, Mark Hurston said: “The conference went extremely well. Over the past 10 years, more and more airlines, ANSPs and flight planning service providers have attended and we are being recognised for getting things done, solving problems and increasing efficiencies. This is the only industry group where the North Atlantic Airlines, ANSPs and service providers have the opportunity to have face to face discussions and progress much needed issues and actions.”

Two additional meetings were hosted at the Prestwick Centre last week – The Flight Efficiency Meeting on the 18 September and the Operational Partnership Agreement (OPA) Customer meeting on the 19 September – featuring international airlines and partners and cementing Prestwick’s status as an aviation industry hub.


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