NATS launches GA pre-notification tool

NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic control services, plans to launch an online pre-notification tool for all GA flights wishing to transit Class D controlled airspace within the London area on 1 January 2018.

The tool, which was developed in response to a controller survey, will give pilots the option to submit their notification on the portal at least 60 minutes before their intended crossing time so NATS controllers can prepare for their arrival – helping pilots with their requests and enabling more efficient use of the airspace.

The tool will be part of a wider Airspace Users Portal that will host all non-standard flight requests in one place later in the year – such as those for balloon tethering, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and general aviation (GA) aircraft.

Tammy Storrow, NATS Terminal Control Safety Improvement Specialist, said: “Under the current system for general aviation pilots wishing to transit into controlled airspace, the air traffic controller responsible has no prior knowledge of the request and therefore has little opportunity to formulate a potential plan for the crossing.

“Pre-notification is especially important in today’s busy airspace where complex air traffic scenarios can develop rapidly. The new tool will enable our ATC units to see the requests well in advance and plan ahead, which will benefit everyone involved.”

The pre-notification tool is available on the portal from 1 January at https://aup.nats.aero and full details can be found in AICY 095/2017. A list of FAQs can be found online here.

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