German-owned ANS takes over air traffic control at London’s Gatwick Airport

1 March 2016 (Last Updated March 1st, 2016 18:30)

Germany-based Air Navigation Solutions (ANS), a subsidiary of Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) Group, has taken over air traffic control (ATC) and engineering services at London's Gatwick Airport from UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

atc tower

Germany-based Air Navigation Solutions (ANS), a subsidiary of Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) Group, has taken over air traffic control (ATC) and engineering services at London's Gatwick Airport from UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

The transition follows a ten-year contract awarded to ANS in 2014 to deliver ATC services below 4,000ft around the airport.

DFS was selected based on a range of criteria, including safety, innovation, airport management, technical capability, cost, resilience, and the ability to accommodate the requirements of a growing airport.

NATS, which has been providing the service for more than 30 years, will continue to navigate air traffic above 4,000ft around the airport from its Swanwick centre in the UK.

In a statement posted on its website, NATS said: "We are very proud of our track record at Gatwick, which is, by a large margin, the busiest and most efficient single runway in the world and where NATS last summer delivered a record 934 movements in a single day.

"We have worked closely with ANS to ensure a safe and professional transition, including seconding 24 employees to support the operation for the next two years."

"We have worked closely with ANS to ensure a safe and professional transition, including seconding 24 employees to support the operation for the next two years."

As stated by Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate, the transfer took place after a 14-month transition period.

ANS managing director Werner Spier was quoted by Airtrafficmanagement.net as saying: "The incredible effort from everyone involved in the transition resulted in a smooth and seamless handover of services.

"We are now looking forward to delivering high-quality services to Gatwick Airport and its customers in the coming years and providing the wider market with flexible, transparent and customer-centric air traffic control services."

DFS is the provider of en-route air traffic control services in Germany, where it also operates 16 airports, including Munich and Frankfurt.


Image: Gatwick Airport to have ANS as its new ATC service provider. Photo: courtesy of NATS Limited 2016