NATS, military team on Commonweath Games

Glasgow ApproachNATS is working closer than ever with the military in order to deliver a safe and efficient air traffic service during the Commonwealth Games.

Teams from the Prestwick Control Centre and the control tower at Glasgow Airport, are collaborating with the military who are monitoring the prohibited and restricted airspace over Glasgow during the Games period.

This is a continuation of NATS’ close working relationship with the UK Ministry of Defence, as military controllers have worked closely with civilian controllers for years to ensure the safe, efficient and effective co-ordination of traffic in increasingly complex and congested airspace.

Glasgow tower is now home to HERMES Operations which comprises 17 military personnel, led by Wing Commander Robin Stedman; this military command cell will enable ‘business as usual’ for the general aviation pilots flying in Glasgow’s airspace.

The HERMES team is a bespoke group made up of Royal Air Force controllers and Air Battlespace Managers, who are air surveillance specialists. They have been working alongside NATS controllers in Glasgow since the 13 July and will remain until 6 August.

As well as managing the Airspace Booking Cell for GA pilots, the military will support Police Scotland and the wider military air security task by providing airspace management, ATC liaison and coordination in the Glasgow area.

Wing Commander Stedman said, “The NATS team at Glasgow tower has welcomed the HERMES detachment into their workplace and have provided all the infrastructure, operations and administration areas, and airspace briefs that are essential to our overall success.  The airspace is being managed in a collaborative way, with RAF personnel sat next to NATS controllers in the Approach Room, which ensures that any airspace issues or concerns can be addressed and resolved in the shortest possible time.

Gary Dixon, NATS General Manager at Glasgow Airport, added: “NATS is proud of the existing working relationship it has with the military and we’ve been very pleased to expand that partnership into Glasgow for the duration of the Games.”

Prestwick General Manager Operations, Jamie Hutchison, said: “The Commonwealth Games has provided a great opportunity for us to work more closely with the military and continue to build our relationships, putting us in a strong position for collaboration on future projects.”

Posted in CAAs/ANSPs, Events, Military ATC, News

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