NATS, the global leader in Air Traffic Management solutions, is bringing its expertise in handling the air traffic around major events, such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, to other countries looking to host events of a similar scale. NATS’ CEO Richard Deakin recently joined the UK Prime Minister David Cameron on a trade mission to Brazil, discussing the transition of the Games from London to Rio de Janerio .
As a global air traffic company NATS is already operating in 28 countries around the world providing innovative solutions in the aviation sector as part of its commercial activities. And after an Olympic Games, characterised by significant levels of extra air traffic but dramatically reduced delays, NATS is perfectly placed to provide advice and guidance to future hosts of the Games, as well as other significant large scale events.
The civil airspace in the GCC is limited and there are events planned in the coming years that will put significant pressure on air traffic management, from the World Cup in Qatar 2020 to Dubai ’s bid for the World Expo in 2020. NATS, already active in the region, is hoping to work with the relevant authorities, airports and airlines to ensure the significant increase in traffic has no negative impact on performance.
Richard Deakin, NATS CEO, said: “We spent a long time preparing and planning for the London 2012 Olympic Games and that preparation was reflected in our performance during that period – with considerable extra traffic but reduced delays.
“Our internationally-recognised expertise in developing airspace solutions and managing complex and complicated issues, while always maintaining safety as our number one priority means we are at the forefront of planning and preparing for these sorts of events.
“We are keen to share the expertise and experiences we have had over the past four years preparing for London 2012 and using some of the innovative solutions that we developed for the UK on the international stage.”
NATS handled significant levels of extra traffic during the Games in some of its sectors while reducing delays by 95 per cent when compared to the same period in 2011.
There was just 593 minutes of delay attributable to NATS throughout the whole of the Olympics. That equates to just 0.1 per cent of the total air traffic delay throughout Europe despite handling 25 per cent of all European traffic during the period.
NATS also facilitated the biggest airborne security operation since World War II. The military air traffic control cell operating from the NATS centre at Swanwick in Hampshire provided 24-hour-a-day security surveillance. NATS controllers facilitated the integration of the military operations over London to ensure the minimum delay to civil aviation.
Temporary airspace restrictions were introduced in and around London from 14 July to 15 August. A smaller set of restrictions remained in place for the Paralympic Games.