NATS wins military contract at Wattisham Flying Station
NATS, which provides air traffic management (ATM) services for 15 UK airports, including the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, has been awarded its first contract for a military helicopter based operation at Wattisham.
Wattisham is a Ministry of Defence (MoD) airfield located in Suffolk, which is home to the UK’s Army Air Corps Apache Helicopter Force, an RAF Search and Rescue unit and the Suffolk Police Air Support Unit.
NATS is to provide ATM and engineering services at the base from the 1 October. The contract is for two-years, with the opportunity to extend on a year-by-year basis, for an additional three years.
NATS and the military have a long history of working together, with military controllers working side by side with civilian controllers at NATS’ two control centres – in Swanwick, Hampshire and Prestwick, Ayrshire – as well as collaborating on specific projects and events, such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, as well as the NATO Summit held in Wales in September.
The biggest centralised operational Army airfield in the UK, Wattisham Flying Station is a vital facility for the MoD and is perhaps most recently known as the main location for HRH Prince Harry’s three and a half years in training and operations with the Apache Force.
Catherine Mason, Managing Director Services, said: “This is a great win for NATS and we look forward to supporting the crucial operations at Wattisham and providing a safe and efficient service for everyone based there.
“We are excited to build on our already strong relationship with the MoD, an important and strategic customer of NATS, and to further develop our military portfolio.”