Case study: NATS

NATS introduces ‘NESSy’

NATS, the UK’s leading air traffic management provider has partnered with Anatec to deliver NESSy (NATS Equipment Site System).

The state of the art software provides NATS’ engineering team with round the clock data and configuration information on essential air/ground communications systems at over 55 sites.

About NATS

NATS provides en route air traffic control services to aircraft flying in UK airspace, and over the eastern part of the North Atlantic. It also provides services at 15 of the UK’s largest airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and in 2005 won its first overseas airport contract, for RAF Gibraltar.

This year NATS will safely handle more than two million flights carrying over 220 million passengers.

NATS is leading the industry in terms of technological and business development and is delivering a £1b investment programme. This includes the development of ground breaking technology to handle predicted future growth in air traffic, the construction of a new air traffic control centre in Prestwick, Scotland and the complete renewal of the radar network.

NATS’ requirements

NATS’ air traffic controllers direct traffic through UK airspace by issuing instructions to pilots by radio.

Complex air traffic control radio equipment is located at over 55 sites across the UK to support controller/pilot communications. A team of engineers work around the clock to monitor and maintain this safety critical equipment.

NATS existing monitoring system was coming to the end of its operational life and there was a need to upgrade it to meet the increasing complexity of air traffic systems.

NATS required an innovative solution to integrate with existing change management and business processes.

Scoping the solution

Anatec worked closely with NATS to fully understand its business dynamics and project goals to produce a fully scoped development strategy.

A proof of concept developed for NATS approval with a live, scaled down solution This was achieved on time and within budget.

Mike Sutton, NATS commented, “Anatec were the driving force behind the solution and their tenacious approach and commitment ensured a successful conclusion.”

The key elements of NESSy

  • User Friendly – graphical view provides information at a glance
  • Scalable – to handle increasing demand
  • Industry Standard Technology – SQL Server, Windows front-end
  • Robust & Reliable – tried & tested
  • Best Practice – methodologies and processes
  • Future Proof – capability to rollout NESSy beyond NATS’ ‘en route’ division
  • Flexible – to enable queries and reporting
  • Integration – with other business processes
  • Visibility – change process planning
  • Accessibility – open architecture to enable Engineers to access system remotely

Moving forward

NATS and Anatec are working together to upload NESSy with key data on NATS equipment and sites.

It will enable engineers to plan future equipment changes and updates more effectively. In addition, the system will be rolled out to additional users.

NATS and Anatec are committed to working together to develop and maintain NESSy.

Mike Sutton, NATS said, “Thanks to Anatec and their understanding of our requirements we now have a solution will meet our requirements today and pave the way for future developments. It will enable our engineers to work more efficiently to deliver the first class service our customers expect.”

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