Ready for kick off – NATS Services helps South Africa air traffic take off for World Cup

24 March 2010

Consultants from NATS Services have been working with their partners in South African air traffic control to reshape procedures at one of the country’s main airports to ensure thousands of extra flights taking place because of the World Cup can be managed safely and efficiently.

Prestigious international sporting events create such a dramatic increase in business and charter jet flights that states have to create special plans to ensure they can handle the extra movements.

Air Traffic Navigation Services South Africa (ATNS) called on NATS Services to support its preparation for this major global occasion by reviewing and updating procedures King Shaka International airport in Durban.

ATNS Aeronautical Information Services Manager Francois Coetzee said: “We knew that to deliver on time and meet all the necessary requirements, we had to involve external partners. Based upon technical expertise and price, NATS Services won the contract.”

NATS Services project manager Alec McLaren said: “Training the staff who will be running the show when the tournament starts was a key element. That team – and the systems – are now in place to manage the rise in traffic this year and beyond.

“We built a strong relationship based on mutual respect and everyone was very open and straightforward. What we have built together is new procedures fundamentally to improve capacity.”

He added that the brief was to ensure compliance with international air traffic standards and to design new instrument procedures, which incorporate the latest satellite navigation technologies for the world cup and beyond, when air traffic volumes are forecast to rise.

The tournament starts on June 11 and ends on July 11: with both beginning and end dates expected to see the biggest peaks in air traffic movements.

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