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Drone hoax company loses control of Gatwick air traffic

Well, a funny old thing the company that bought us the biggest single hit to the emerging drone industry worldwide is no longer in control of Gatwick air traffic.

I am very pleased that NATS has retaken the reigns, I trust them more!

I am also pleased to see there is a plan to replace the crew that bought us the action that launched a thousand CUAS ships.

The UK was leading the way in the RPAS space until the #BattleofGatwick after that operators were viewed with suspicion and hate. The economic and psychological impacts on the general public should not be underestimated. The SATCO and shift bosses’ logs for the Gatwick incident should be released for public scrutiny.

On a rainy windy night, it was a chicken-licken exercise.

Nobody from Gatwick has been held to account, that needs to happen.

If I am being too harsh then maybe some ATCO’s will finally stand up and tell the truth now that their jobs are on the line.

The drone industry has a long memory, we will not forget.

After a break of six years, NATS is back as the air traffic service provider at Gatwick Airport.

The transition from the previous provider occurred overnight on 8-9 October, with all the existing controllers and engineers transferring across to NATS. It means the air traffic service at all five major London airports is being delivered by NATS for the first time since 2016.

Working in partnership with the airport, NATS will now concentrate on building the resilience of the air traffic operation. With up to 55 aircraft movements per-hour off its single runway, Gatwick is one of the most challenging airports in the world to be an air traffic controller. A plan to train and recruit new and experienced controllers is already underway and will begin delivering in the coming months.

NATS is also working with the airport to support its longer-term strategic objectives.

NATS is also exploring the feasibility to deploy its Intelligent Approach arrival spacing tool, in what will be a world first for a single runway ‘mixed-mode’ airport, where take-offs and landings occur on the same runway. The tool helps deliver improved resilience against delays and disruption by tailoring the spacing between arriving and departing aircraft.

NATS also plans to work with the industry-leading company, Searidge Technologies to evaluate the potential use of new digital air traffic management tools at the airport to further enhance operational performance.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport Chief Executive, said: “NATS comes with a world-beating reputation for providing air traffic control service. We’re looking forward to working closely together to build resilience in the years ahead, which of course will benefit our passengers, airlines, employees, and the region’s wider economy.

“I would like to pass on my gratitude to Air Navigation Solutions Limited for supplying air traffic control services at the airport over the past six years.”

Martin Rolfe, NATS Chief Executive Officer, said: “For Gatwick to invite us back speaks to the faith they have in NATS to both deliver the best possible service and to support the airport’s longer-term strategic objectives. Our first priority is to enhance the resilience of the air traffic operation so we can deliver the kind of service the airport, its airlines and their passengers will need for the future.”

The Gatwick service is provided by NATS Services Ltd.

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