NATS recently held a webinar with Andy Taylor, Chief Solutions Officer, NATS and Andy Foxhall, Head of International Business, NATS to discuss the path for air traffic management (ATM) in a post pandemic world.

Starting with a state of the industry, the outlook is quite positive with most regions either moving rapidly toward pre-pandemic flight levels or in some cases already meeting them. There are some regions, such as India where these figures have already been exceeded. The difference in progress is really down to the type of airport/flights - are they international long haul or regional/domestic. There is is also an impact from timing of when countries lifted their Covid restrictions.  In India there is a program from the government to sponsor the use of flights to travel specific regional routes. With such a large geographic footprint, driving between major cities is not a good option for business travellers.

Considering technology, this is a priority for recovery. During the slow down of traffic in the past two years, organisations had time to consider programs related to the introduction of new technology and improvement of the environmental situation. A few examples.

Digital towers:

  • widespread consideration for contingency planning in order to ensure resilience
  • enable increased situational awareness for controllers with an instant view anywhere at the airport
  • maximises the use of airport assets.

Intelligent approach:

  • reduces fuel burn by decreasing waiting time
  • increases utilisation of runways
  • continuing to evolve to include multi-mode runways, wind and in the future aircraft type.

As you can see, technology is an important part of future strategies. We've only touched on a few highlights of the webinar, you can view the entire session here.