Airspace Research, Knowledge and Technology

QinetiQ is the UK's largest research and technology organisation. It comprises teams of dedicated people, including experts in defence, aerospace, security and other related markets. We draw on our extensive technical knowledge and intellectual property to provide the knowledge and support to help solve some of the most complex challenges faced by our customers.

QinetiQ has a dedicated air traffic management team that provides independent advice on regulatory, technical and safety matters to support operational concepts and technology systems, both existing and proposed. Where appropriate, the team can draw on expertise from the wider organisation.

Research and technology for airspace

With increasing numbers of airspace users, the optimised structuring and use of airspace is essential for ensuring efficient and safe operations. QinetiQ has a keen appreciation of the interests and concerns of the disparate stakeholder groups, such as commercial operators, general aviation, military and operators of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA).

For example, QinetiQ's ATM team worked closely with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Civil Aviation Authority to produce the successful airspace change proposals that led to the establishment of specialist RPA airspace at the West Wales UAV Centre in Aberporth and at the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) exercise area on Salisbury Plain.

This airspace is being used to support RPA operations that will enable the development of technologies and procedures, which will ultimately allow RPA to reach their full potential by being integrated seamlessly with conventional aviation.

QinetiQ also provides communication and navigation technical support and advice to the UK MoD customers providing consistent, accurate, timely and complete information concerning current and future developments in international ATM and their impact on MoD projects and activities. Over the past five years, this project has delivered overall cost savings to the MoD in excess of £40m.

QinetiQ can offer:

  • Airspace change proposals (including running of the public consultation process)
  • Modelling of airspace utilisation (levels of general aviation usage in class G airspace)
  • Advice on civil/military interoperability
  • Advice on the technical, operational and regulatory issues related to RPA
  • Assessments of the operational impact of wind turbines

Strategy and procurement support

QinetiQ has worked closely with air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to formulate their future strategies and support the full procurement lifecycle.

This has notably been demonstrated through work with the Norwegian ANSP, Avinor, helping it to determine its future strategy for providing cost-effective surveillance services in challenging environments.

QinetiQ is also the customer friend to the UK MoD MARSHALL delivery team for technical advice sustaining the Military Terminal ATM capability to circa 2037. QinetiQ has completed an evaluation of bidders' outline solutions for the £1.5bn Project MARSHALL identifying technical issues and risks to be addressed in competitive dialogue.

QinetiQ can offer:

  • Independent advice covering technology, standards and regulation, operations, safety and economic factors
  • General programme support to ensure that procurement programmes address operational and regulatory requirements and are also compatible with the emerging SESAR environment
  • Enterprise architecture solutions enabling customers to visualise and optimise strategies for the procurement of future infrastructure and the development of the accompanying procedures in a cost-effective and timely manner

Surveillance performance

QinetiQ has been closely involved in many of the major developments in ATM surveillance technology, from the earliest developments of radar through secondary surveillance radar to the latest multilateration and ADS-B techniques. We are proactive in developing technologies and international standards through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), RTCA and EUROCAE groups. We have world-renowned experts in the field who are able to offer our customers the best independent advice.

QinetiQ can offer:

  • Advice on surveillance system deployment, particularly the new technologies of ADS-B and multilateration
  • Impartial support in procurement, integration and validation of new surveillance systems
  • Performance analysis of new or existing surveillance systems, ensuring systems are fit for purpose and operating to their full potential
  • Radio frequency spectrum modelling for the secondary surveillance environment
  • Assistance with safety cases
  • Training in all aspects of surveillance technology (Mode S, ADS-B, multilateration, TCAS), and also in surveillance data distribution and processing

Airborne and ground-based safety nets

Safety nets enhance overall safety by providing warnings to the pilot / controller of potentially hazardous mid-air situations. QinetiQ has over 20 years' experience in the safety nets domain, having world-class expertise in collision avoidance systems (ACAS/TCAS) and ground-based safety nets (STCA, MSAW, APW and APM).

QinetiQ undertook a fine tuning of the EUROCAT Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA) system for Austro Control, enabling the system to become fully operational exactly on schedule and to the complete satisfaction of air traffic controllers.

Another example would be our work through the SPIN Working Group where QinetiQ assisted EUROCONTROL Member States in the set-up / optimisation of operational safety nets.

QinetiQ can offer:

  • Support during all phases of the ground-based safety net lifecycle, including system procurement, system design, verification and validation. QinetiQ also provide support for optimisation of the ground-based safety net system both before and during operational service
  • Development of safety net analysis tools, including fast-time safety net modelling for parameter optimisation and system validation

Contact Details

QinetiQ Customer Contact Team
Cody Technology Park
Ively Road
GU14 0LX
United Kingdom
Contact: Robin Deyoe - Marketing Director - Moog Inc.
+44 843 658 4668

Available White Papers


QinetiQ: Air Traffic Management Consultancy 30 May 2014 Air traffic management is a complex and dynamic environment facing major changes in international operational concepts. QinetiQ can provide expert consultancy services to promote a cost-effective planning and decision-making process.


VERIFEYE: Mitigating the effects of wind farms on radar 27 May 2014 Due to their sheer size and reflectivity, wind turbines can have a detrimental impact on radar and navigation systems. VERIFEYE is a mitigation technique that aims to eliminate the impact that wind farms can have on any type of radar.