NATS, the UK-based air traffic control company, and Lockheed Martin, a leading airport and air traffic management (ATM) technology provider, have combined their significant expertise to offer new and innovative solutions to the global aviation market. This includes the 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 optimize approach operations, many of which will be demonstrated at the forthcoming Passenger Terminal Expo on 10-12 March in Paris, France.
Mark Cooper, UK managing director of Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions, said, “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. Our new capability will help airports and airlines to maintain capacity during challenging weather periods and reduce the disruption faced by thousands of passengers.”
Martin Rolfe, managing director operations at NATS, said, “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.”
For more information about the Time Based Separation system visit Lockheed Martin at stand 2060. For more information about the Expo and to register for the event, please click here.
Delegates at Passenger Terminal Conference will also be able to hear Kevin Hightower, chief technology officer, Lockheed Martin, present a paper entitled “Time-Based Separation – a solution for arrival delays” as part of the Management & Operations session on Tuesday 10 March.