Airways New Zealand has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UK-based NATS to establish the base for collaboration between the two air navigation services providers (ANSPs).

Under the terms of the deal, Airways New Zealand and NATS aim to improve air traffic management (ATM) capabilities that will facilitate the exchange of information and expertise, as well as pave the way for collaboration on planning and research.

Airways New Zealand CEO Ed Sims said: "A collaborative approach is key to meeting the challenges currently facing the global ATM industry.

"In Asia Pacific particularly, we are facing an unprecedented level of air traffic growth and given the cross border nature of ATM, this kind of joint approach is necessary to achieve the full potential of safe, efficient and sustainable operations."

According to the Airways New Zealand CEO, developing closer ties will allow ANSPs, including NATS, to offer significant advantages to airline customers and the aviation sector worldwide.

"A collaborative approach is key to meeting the challenges currently facing the global ATM industry."

NATS chief executive officer Martin Rolfe said: "Airways and NATS both have a great deal of experience and expertise which we can share to our mutual advantage across many areas of our operations.

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"We share the same values, which mean we are confident we will work well together.

"As Ed says, the future of our industry is in collaboration to make air travel as seamless as possible, right around the globe."

The agreement was formalised during the 2016 CANSO Global ATM Summit and annual general meeting (AGM) held in Vancouver, Canada.

Image: NATS and Airways New Zealand signs memorandum of understanding. Photo: courtesy of NATS.