UK air navigation service provider (ANSP) NATS has introduced an electronic flight strip solution at Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport.
The ANSP has successfully transitioned the two airports from paper to electronic flight strips after completing a ten-month programme using the new Hub and Spoke system architecture.
The new concept was introduced for the first time in the UK and will enable all airports in the Hub and Spoke system to be connected to a single set of data servers at NATS Swanwick Control Centre.
The single set of data servers drives the screens in the operation rooms at the airports connected to it.
This will eliminate the necessity for an air traffic control (ATC) tower to have its own locally installed servers and individual data links feeding the workstations at a specific site.
NATS Service Operations director Iain Harris said: “The advantages of our Hub and Spoke system will be felt operationally but also by our airport customers, as the common system and method of operations can be adapted to suit each bespoke airport and delivered into service in significantly less time than traditional systems.
“This offering is another example of NATS utilising new technology to modernise air traffic control, safely and efficiently, and offer value for money in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
The Hub and Spoke system helps enhance airport effectiveness and efficiency, reduces infrastructure costs, and enables the ATC towers to transfer and share data from the same single database.
It also reduces the workload of the air traffic controllers, and enhances safety and capacity benefits by providing them with more time to manage additional flight services and help monitor increased levels of traffic.
The electronic flight strip system is slated to be introduced at Farnborough airport and will go live by December this year.