Air Traffic Management
Objectives of the group
The UK’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) industry has an estimated turnover of around £750 million and comprises over 200 organisations; including an increasing number of universities and research bodies. Located predominantly in the South East of England the sector includes more than 50 of the most innovative and successful ATM Small and Medium sized enterprises in Europe. These, together with a concentrated representation of major global ‘primes’, including NATS (formally known as the National Air Traffic Services), QinetiQ Selex, Thales and BAE Systems form a critical mass of highly experienced sector knowledge.
Background to sector group
This is a market where the only constant is change; indeed such progress has been required in order to safely manage the fivefold increase in air travel of the last 30 years (there has not been an ATC related accident in the UK since 1946). In addition to this first priority of safety the aviation industry is increasing looking to the ATM sector to play its part in reducing the emission and noise footprint of aircraft operations. This pressure, coupled with the potential for airlines to reap the benefits associated with the reduced operating costs of efficient ATM, is creating renewed interest in the concepts and technologies that are emerging to effectively control air traffic.
The European objectives for the ATM system are to triple capacity, double cost effectiveness, increase safety by a factor of ten and reduce the unit environmental impact by ten percent. This change is largely being driven by the ‘SESAR’ (the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) programme – which will shortly embark on its scheme of work. The equivalent US programme, ‘NextGen’ (the Next Generation Air Transport System), is already seeing cutting edge technologies rolling out across America. UK industry is naturally well positioned to serve both of these vast markets – particularly in the Communication-Navigation-Surveillance and Avionic sectors (in which British manufacturers’ are established world leaders). In addition NATS, the largest provider of ATC services in the UK, has earned an international reputation for its pioneering work in Safety developments and the efficient management of the high density Atlantic Oceanic and London Terminal Areas.
Click here for an interesting tender that has just been announced for Associates to the SESAR joint undertaking.