UK NATS designs new human machine interface for air traffic controllers


UK air navigation service provider (ANSP) NATS has completed the design of a new human machine interface (HMI) for air traffic controllers.

The HMI will help implement new airspace management concepts, such as free route airspace and trajectory management that play a significant role in providing the additional capacity required by the Single European Sky (SES) initiative.

The design has been funded by the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and co-funded by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).

The new interface will be used to display information generated through the interoperability Through European Collaboration (iTEC) flight data processing system, which is slated to be launched across the UK in the coming years.

"The new HMI is one of a number of projects being co-funded by INEA which will help revolutionise air traffic management (ATM) in the UK."

NATS Service, Strategy and Transformation director Paul Haskins said: “The new HMI is one of a number of projects being co-funded by INEA which will help revolutionise air traffic management (ATM) in the UK.

“This particular project is an integral part of NATS’ planning for the future. Its main objective is to deliver key elements of the HMI design work for air traffic controllers and operational support staff for the new systems.

“This will ensure commonality and interoperability between UK civil and military en route air traffic controllers and enable us to deliver Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) in UK airspace.”

To date, NATS has implemented a range of SESAR concepts, which include a time-based separation system for landing aircraft at London Heathrow Airport and Point Merge, a new airspace design concept that uses improved aircraft navigational capabilities to enhance overall airspace efficiency.


Image: NATS lead Patrick Giles talking to Alan Haigh, head of Horizon 2020 within INEA, about the HMI. Photo: courtesy of NATS.