Dec14/Jan 2015


December 14/January 15


Dear Customer,

Since my last Newsbrief, the European Commission has appointed the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Deployment Alliance, a consortium of airlines, airport operators and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs),including NATS, to deliver a €3bn modernisation of European airspace, making it fit for the 21st Century.

The last couple of months have also seen a number of successful environmental improvements implemented. We are now saving up to 1m tonnes of aviation related CO2 in UK airspace each year. This equates to more than £115m in enabled fuel savings for airlines.

Below are some of the headlines. You can click on any of them to find out more and of course, I would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to discuss these or any other developments.

Ground-breaking alliance to transform Europe’s airspace

Ground-breaking allianceThe modernisation of European airspace took a major step forward with the appointment of a unique aviation industry partnership to coordinate and synchronise €3bn worth of upgrades to the continent’s air traffic management infrastructure. The European Commission has tasked the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Deployment Alliance, an unprecedented cross industry partnership made up of four airline groups, operators of 25 airports and 11 air traffic control providers (including NATS), to plan and coordinate a wholesale modernisation of European airspace, making it fit for the 21st Century. It has been appointed to the European Commission-mandated role of SESAR Deployment Manager. More…

One million tonnes of annual CO2 savings in UK airspace

Up to 1m tonnes of aviation related CO2 is now being saved each year in UK airspace. The reduction equates to more than £115m in enabled fuel savings for airlines and an average 4.3% cut in CO2 per flight. The improvements are the result of changes to UK airspace that allow for more direct routes and improved vertical profiles; the use of more efficient procedures, such as continuous instead of stepped climbs and descents; and the introduction of new air traffic control technologies. More…

Cross-border trial cuts Heathrow holding times

A trial to cut the amount of time aircraft spend circling in ‘holding stacks’ at Heathrow Airport has started to reap rewards. Led by NATS, as part of the UK-Ireland FAB and in collaboration with FABEC and Heathrow Airport, the trial has the overall aim of cutting average holding times by a quarter from the current time of eight minutes. Since April 2014, NATS has recorded a reduction of up to a minute in holding times for those flights influenced by the trial, saving airlines around £1 million (€1.25m) in fuel and 5,000 tonnes of CO2, as well as reducing noise for communities underneath the stacks. More…

NATS and NAV CANADA improve flight efficiency

An innovative and shared oceanic air traffic control system with enhanced features has been implemented at NATS’ Control Centre in Prestwick, Scotland and NAV CANADA’s Control Centre in Gander, Newfoundland to assist controllers as they direct aircraft across the North Atlantic – the busiest oceanic airspace in the world. More…

NATS unveils real-time flight efficiency tool

Air traffic controllers are now able to analyse the environmental efficiency of flights in near real-time, thanks to a new tool developed by NATS called Flosys. More…

Major milestone for Time Based Separation

Live shadowing of the Time Based Separation (TBS) tool commenced on 14th January. TBS is a new system to separate arriving aircraft at Heathrow by time instead of distance. It will radically cut delays and reduce cancellations caused by strong headwinds on final approach. In shadowing mode, the system is monitored in an operational environment to ensure the performance of the tool in live operation is as expected. In what will be a world first, the new method for spacing arriving aircraft is set to become fully operational at London’s biggest airport in spring 2015. More…

Strategic Airport Capacity Management tool delivers new landing slot at Heathrow

The new Strategic Airport Capacity Management (ACM) tool has transformed the scheduling capability and airfield management at London Heathrow Airport, resulting in the declaration of a new early morning landing slot. Strategic ACM is an innovative web based tool which improves the way airfield capacity interacts with key interfaces, including airspace, ground infrastructure and terminals – looking at a time horizon of six months and beyond. More…

Service outage at Swanwick 12 Dec

A technical fault with the flight data system used by air traffic controllers at Swanwick on 12 Dec led to a service interruption. The root cause of this 45-minute failure has been investigated and a permanent software fix has been deployed to ensure that the problem does not reoccur. An independent enquiry led by Admiral Sir Robert Walmsley KCB will be carried out. More…

Take a guided tour around UK airspace

The skies above the UK have been brought to life like never before in a video showing a day of air traffic in less than three minutes. Created from actual radar data showing over 7,000 flights, the video graphically illustrates the daily task facing air traffic controllers and the airspace features that help make it all work. More…

I hope you continue to find this useful and I would very much appreciate your feedback.

Very Best Wishes,


Richard Deakin
Chief Executive Officer


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