UK Air Traffic Partners Expand Relationship, Collaborate On New Technology Offerings

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WHITELEY, Feb 11 2015: NATS, the UK-based air traffic control company, and Lockheed Martin, the leading airport and air traffic management (ATM) technology provider, have entered a strategic partnership that strengthens the existing supplier relationship and underlines their commitment to further enable improved efficiency, safety and passenger experience across airports and air traffic systems worldwide.

This partnership comes after the two organisations already announced an extension of the ongoing support agreement for a number of NATS operational systems, as well as a new arrangement that has seen Lockheed Martin UK take on the support of NATS business IT systems.

The increased commitment will be a vital element in supporting NATS’ deployment of the next generation of air traffic control technologies over the coming five years in support of the Single European Sky initiative. The programme will see NATS move to a new technology platform that will improve operational resilience and offer greater service flexibility.

For Lockheed Martin, the collaboration is an additional capability that consolidates its suite of airport and air traffic technology solutions that are key in managing the passenger journey from kerb to cloud.

The partnership will also see NATS and Lockheed Martin combines their significant expertise to offer new and innovative solutions to the global aviation market.

For example, the first manifestation of this closer relationship is the joint development and implementation of Time Based Separation – a new way of separating aircraft on final approach to an airport. In a world first, the system is due to go live at London Heathrow Airport in spring 2015 and is expected to halve delays caused by strong headwinds.

Headwinds on final approach are one of the biggest causes of arrival delay at an airport, where traditional Distance Based Separation causes the landing rate to drop and delays for passengers to mount. Changing to a time based system allows air traffic controllers to dynamically alter the spacing between aircraft based on the current wind conditions, thereby maintaining the landing rate and improving airport resilience.

NATS and Lockheed Martin are now working to showcase the benefits of the technology to airports around the world as part of a suite of products designed to optimise approach operations, many of which will be demonstrated at the forthcoming CANSO World ATM Congress, Madrid and Passenger Terminal Expo, Paris events in 10-12 March.

“As global demand for air travel rises, Lockheed Martin and NATS are continuing to find innovative ways to help improve the passenger experience and ensure that people are able to reach their destinations safely and on time,” said Mark Cooper, UK Managing Director of Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. “Our new capability will help airports and airlines to maintain capacity during challenging weather periods and reduce the disruption faced by thousands of passengers.”

Tim Bullock, NATS Director, Supply Chain, said: “This partnership builds on our existing strong relationship and the support of our supply chain partners will ensure NATS can continue to meet the high standards of safety and service our customers expect.”

Martin Rolfe, NATS Managing Director Operations, added: “We see our partnership strategy as vital to the successful delivery of our future plans. The partnership between NATS and Lockheed Martin means we can pool our considerable skills, technologies and resources in deploying SESAR technologies over the next five years and deliver new innovative products and services like Time Based Separation, allowing NATS and Lockheed Martin to lead the way at improving airport efficiency and resilience.”

 

Note to editors

About NATS

NATS is the UK’s leading provider of Air Traffic Management (ATM) services, handling 2.1 million flights in 2012/13, covering the UK and eastern North Atlantic. NATS provides air traffic control from centres at Swanwick, Hampshire and Prestwick, Ayrshire. NATS also provides air traffic control services at 15 UK airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow; at Gibraltar Airport and, in a joint venture with Ferrovial, at a number of airport towers in Spain.

Building on its well-established reputation for expertise and innovation, NATS is growing its business worldwide, and now has contracts in more than 30 countries.  NATS offers aerodrome, data and consultancy solutions to customers including airports, air traffic service providers and Governments. There is more information on the NATS website at www.nats.aero  

About Lockheed Martin UK

Lockheed Martin UK, headquartered in London, is the UK-based arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and aerospace company which specialises in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. Lockheed Martin UK employs more than 3,000 people across 21 UK sites working on a wide range of major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.

Media Contacts:

For more information contact the NATS Press Office on 44 +44 (0)1489 615945, email press.office@nats.co.uk or tweet @natspressoffice

Lockheed Martin UK: Shaun McDougall, shaun.mcdougall@lmco.com, +44 (0) 141 814 3773

 

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