NATS to advise Airports Commission
- Move recognises the importance of airspace in capacity debate
- NATS to advise on measures to increase capacity in the short-term and long-term
NATS, the UK’s major provider of air traffic services, is to provide expert airspace advice to the Airports Commission, set up by the Government to recommend on future airport capacity in south-east England.
The Airports Commission will contract with NATS to support its consideration of options for meeting the UK’s aviation airport capacity and connectivity requirements over the short, medium and long term. This work will inform the Commission’s interim report, due for publication by the end of 2013, which will provide an assessment of the nature, scale and timing of any need for new capacity.
It will also set out the Commission’s recommendations for short and medium term actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next five years and in relation to any long-term options that should be taken forward for more detailed consideration from 2014 onwards.
Richard Deakin, NATS Chief Executive Officer, said: “Airports are only as good as the airspace that supports them – and we have unrivalled expertise and understanding of how to make best use of this critical, but invisible pillar of transport infrastructure. I am delighted that the Commission recognises the value we can add and we look forward to working with them.”
NATS will provide input into the Commission’s review of potential measures to increase airport capacity in the short-term, ensuring as far as possible that robust assessments of their airspace implications have been carried out. This includes analysis of the likely benefits, feasibility, risk and estimated timeframe for implementation.
NATS will also contribute to the early assessment of longer term options for improving airport capacity, including airspace considerations for new runways or airports, with a particular emphasis on operational and network feasibility and identifying key constraints.