NATS, Indra to deploy iTEC at Prestwick

NATS has commissioned Indra to support the deployment of the iTEC system in Prestwick Center Upper Airspace to enable SESAR’s trajectory-based concept of operation to be introduced in the UK.

Prestwick is one of the two main United Kingdom control centres. It has the largest area of responsibility anywhere in the European Union, providing air traffic services across northern England, Scotland and the North East Atlantic.

iTEC (interoperability Through European Collaboration) is the next-generation air traffic management systems technology that brings together the air navigation service providers of Spain, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands alongside systems provider Indra. This technology will strengthen safety, increase efficiency, and improve environmental impact of flights. It will enhance interoperability between control centres in Europe and will also make it possible for aircraft to optimise their routes.

iTEC Systems provide the most advanced flight data processing and Controller Working Position under SWIM (System Wide Information Management) capable architecture to improve flow of information among control centres and airports.

The system’s capability to predict potential aircraft conflicts will enable trajectory-based flights. This new concept of operation is intended to reduce controller workload, increase individual flight efficiency and support greater overall traffic capacity in UK airspace. Among the future benefits to NATS customers will be reduced airline costs, delays, and CO2 emissions. It will also prepare UK airports to handle future air traffic growth.

iTEC is fully in line with the European Commission’s objectives to achieve a Single European Sky (SES) and is a key enabler for delivering the benefits of SESAR, the technological component of SES. Outside Europe, iTEC Systems are considered the optimal solution for the most complex airspace.

Martin Rolfe, NATS managing director, operations, said: “iTEC will be key to the future success of some of the busiest airspace in Europe and, indeed the world. We have a long track record of collaboration with Indra and we’re delighted to now be working with them on what is a vitally important project for the deployment of SESAR.”

Rafael Gallego, director general of Indra, explained: “This implementation at Prestwick is a real breakthrough in the roadmap towards NATS SESAR deployment using iTEC technology. Indra is proud to be the technology partner of NATS and its iTEC partners, working together to realize a Single European Sky.”

Alastair Muir, NATS operations director at Prestwick Centre added: “Using iTEC will provide Prestwick controllers with the most advanced flight data processing and Controller Working Position available. The system will provide the most efficient routes for each flight, reducing fuel cost of our customers, and improving our performance as a business.”

Tim Bullock, NATS director of supply chain, said: “This is an important project and one that builds upon our excellent long term relationship with Indra. It forms part of NATS’ wider strategy to develop and strengthen our strategic partnerships across the industry.”

Ramon Tarrech, director for ATM strategic development of Indra, said: “NATS, Indra and their strategic suppliers will work collaboratively for the timely deployment of trajectory-based systems in the UK. The Prestwick Center Upper Airspace project further strengthens our partnership in ATM and airports.”

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