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Stansted Control Tower First To Use New Tech!

Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:50 am

UK NATS Stansted control tower first to use electronic flight strips with NAV CANADA system

(London/Ottawa, January 13, 2005) – The UK's National Air Traffic Services (NATS) is pleased to announce today that Stansted airport is now using the world’s most advanced tower-airport flight data system.

The technology known as Integrated Information Display System/Extended Computer Display System (IIDS/EXCDS) - developed by NAV CANADA - is used to create "paperless" towers by eliminating the need for paper flight strips. The system, the first of its kind in the UK, is also to be installed at the Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

This partnership between UK NATS and NAV CANADA came about under an agreement signed in 2003 between the two parties.

Brandon Chapman, NATS Director of Airport Services, said: "This is a truly significant advance in the use of technology and is an enabler for the ever advancing efficiency of our operation and the transfer of data not only within NATS but also to the benefit of our customers within the airport and airline communities. I am extremely grateful and impressed by the dedication of everyone involved in this project and particularly at Stansted where the system has been brought into operation in a safe and professional manner. We look forward to working with NAV CANADA in rolling the project out at Gatwick and Heathrow."

John Crichton, NAV CANADA's President and CEO, said: "The system being installed in the London airports – already a proven solution in 11 tower/airport environments in Canada – is the latest benefit of the close collaboration between NATS and NAV CANADA. NATS is not only a valued partner in the provision of Air Navigation Services, they have also become a valued NAV CANADA customer."

Other collaborative work between these leading ANS providers continues as NAV CANADA assists UK NATS in the development of its Shanwick Advanced Air Traffic System (SAATS) for the benefit of airline customers using the North Atlantic – the busiest oceanic airspace in the world.

IIDS/EXCDS - or Electronic Flight Progress System (EFPS) as it is known in the UK - allows tower controllers to manage electronic flight data online using touch-sensitive display screens. This significantly reduces the need for voice communications among controllers and replaces the traditional method of using paper strips to keep track of air traffic.

It increases efficiencies by ensuring an instantaneous sharing of relevant flight information between workstations within the tower, and between the tower and terminal control. EFPS is fully interfaced with the Integrated Initial Flight Plan System (IFPS) and other flow management systems located at the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) in Brussels. It also interfaces with the BAA’s Stand (or gate) Management System (SMS), NATS’ National Airspace System (NAS) and it also performs Departure Clearance (DCL) with aircraft flight decks.

The system has been operational in Canada since 1998, and is now in control towers across the country including Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver and many others.

Stansted is the fastest growing airport in Europe with 184,000 flights per year. While Heathrow, the world’s busiest airport for international traffic handles over 462,000 flights and 63 million passengers per year. For its part, Gatwick is the world’s most used single-runway airport, with 244,000 aircraft movements annually.

NAV CANADA, the country’s provider of civil air navigation services, is a non-share capital, private corporation with operations coast to coast providing air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information, airport advisory services and electronic aids to navigation.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) plans and provides air traffic services throughout the United Kingdom and over the eastern North Atlantic, more than a million square miles of airspace. NATS is a public-private partnership between the UK Government, a consortium of seven British airlines and airport operator BAA plc, with the staff holding a five per cent share of the company.

For more details on the IIDS/EXCDS technology please click here.

Click here for a picture of the system at the Stansted control tower.

Click here for a picture of the system in Montreal.

For further information, please contact:

National Air Traffic Services (NATS):
Richard Wright
Senior Press Officer
01489 615943 (Mobile 07866 685066)


John Morris
Director, Communications
(613) 563-7032

Louis Garneau
Manager, Media Relations
(613) 563-5972

[Edited 2005-01-24 23:55:01]
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!

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