UK air traffic services provider NATS has teamed up with McLaren Deloitte to enhance capacity management capabilities of airports using F1 technology and data science.

The partners will work on products, which are intended to transform how operational decisions are made in the aviation industry.

Under the collaboration, McLaren will combine its know-how with Deloitte’s data analytics capabilities. This will be complemented by NATS’s experience in managing congested and complex airspace and airports to understand, as well as accurately forecast the impact of decisions before they are taken.

The partners have launched their first product known as Performance Optimiser. It has been developed by NATS air traffic and airspace capacity management personnel with McLaren Deloitte data scientists.

The Cloud-based system enables air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to review and model the effect of a range of tactical decisions in en-route and terminal airspace to maximise available capacity, while also cutting delays.

Furthermore, the Performance Optimiser has been designed to provide instant access to operational data, allowing users to view a number of factors that may influence air traffic to make an informed decision and best manage the airspace.

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“Performance Optimiser allows operational supervisors to make data-augmented decisions.”

The new solution can simulate the different decisions that would have changed the outcome. This capability allows operational supervisors to both review performance and also inform of future decisions.

Deloitte aviation technology partner Mark Cooper said: “As the UK airspace becomes more crowded it will be increasingly difficult to manage and McLaren Deloitte are delighted to be working in collaboration with NATS to provide a solution powered by the concept of a digital twin.

“By taking all of the experience and knowledge of air navigation professionals and enhancing it with advanced analytics and simulation, Performance Optimiser allows operational supervisors to make data-augmented decisions, which improve both operational efficiency and consistency.

“This product will enable NATS as well as the global aviation community to make the best decisions in managing the airspace, and we look forward to working with them to achieve this.”

Currently, NATS is assessing the tool to help balance traffic flows and identify opportunities to improve performance.