Interim Future Area Control Tools Support (iFACTS)

What?

With capacity increasing, controllers need advanced tools to assist in their decision making and monitoring whilst controlling. iFACTS provides the controller with an advanced set of support tools in order to reduce workload and so increase the amount of traffic he/she can comfortably handle. These tools, based on Trajectory Prediction and Medium Term Conflict Detection, provide decision making support and facilitate the early detection of conflicts in and around the sector.

Why?

The amount of traffic within NATS airspace has increased over the years and is forecast to continue to increase in the future. The need for controllers to handle more aircraft safely is crucial. iFACTS introduces the Trajectory Prediction concept to controllers, providing improved awareness of aircrafts’ expected flight profiles, enabling us to make better use of the UK’s airspace.

When?

iFACTS was successfully introduced into Swanwick Area Centre in November 2011 and is now a core part of the Area Control operation. Controller tools for Terminal Control, using similar techniques, are being researched under the TMA tools project.

Project Benefits:

  • Capacity

  • Cost-savings

  • Environment

  • Fuel-savings

  • Safety

Project Maturity: Fully operational

Project Tags: Controller tools, Using real-time data