British air traffic management company NATS and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to closely work on a range of airport planning, capacity and efficiency projects.

NATS CEO Richard Deakin and JCAB director general Masashi Omoda signed the agreement at the JCAB head quarters in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

NATS is eyeing to bolster its business in the Far East with this deal, especially among the emerging economies where the aviation industry is witnessing growth.

"We value NATS’ expertise and hope our closer association will be beneficial to both organisations."

Writing on the company’s blog in January, NATS CEO Richard Deakin announced that the company intends to open its first permanent office in the region.

Deakin said: "To be the first foreign company to sign an agreement with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau is a great honour. Not only does it demonstrate the high regard in which NATS is held, it will help to further consolidate our relationships in Japan and in the wider region."

Omoda said: "We value NATS’ expertise and hope our closer association will be beneficial to both organisations, especially with the challenges of the forthcoming Olympics and expected growth in air traffic in Japan."

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By GlobalData

NATS signed a similar deal with aviation consultancy Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI), which also works with JCAB almost a year ago.

NATS has since been offering capacity analysis for JCAB at Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports and partnered with MRI for the Narita Airport Authority and the Japanese Meteorological Agency.