NATS selects Quintiq to overcome roster planning challenges


UK’s air navigation service provider (ANSP) NATS has selected Quintiq to overcome its rostering challenges in a hugely complex planning environment.

The ANSP handles air traffic of both the UK airspace and the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as provides air traffic control (ATC) services to 13 British airports.

With its 1,500 employees handling an average of 5,000 to 7,000 flights each day, NATS is required to precisely plan the allocation of the right people with the right skills at the right time.

The new partnership will enable the UK ANSP to integrate rosters and resources in order to increase accuracy and enhance the efficiency of the entire planning process.

The new solution to be provided by Quintiq will be used to plan roster for NATS’ air traffic controller officers (ATCOs), air traffic service assistants (ATSAs) and support personnel.

NATS chief information officer Gavin Walker said: “The new Quintiq planning system can support NATS’ business requirements, which includes adherence to the many layers of rostering rules found in our regulated industry.

"The new Quintiq planning system can support NATS’ business requirements, which includes adherence to the many layers of rostering rules found in our regulated industry."

“Our requirements are to perform the short-term planning up to nine months ahead as well as support the medium-term planning up to 24 months ahead.

“Meanwhile, the software allows fast re-planning, respecting those labour rules and regulations, should last-minute disruptions occur. The optimiser function releases planners from time-consuming work every time something changes, so that they can focus their expertise exactly where and when it’s needed.”

In addition, Quintiq will provide NATS with a mobile application that will facilitate interactive communication between ATCOs or ATSAs and the planners when creating new requests or checking the status of existing requests.

The app will serve as a single point of contact for all employees to communicate about any shift-related issues and tasks.


Image: An air traffic control tower. Photo: courtesy of Dassault Systèmes.