NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services, has taken a major step towards creating Europe’s air traffic control system of tomorrow. The company has awarded a contract worth £47m to Spanish IT business Indra to build the next generation of flight data processing equipment. Engineers from NATS and Indra will work together on this complex and technically demanding project. The agreement confirms the confidence both companies have in a long-term business relationship. The system, iTEC-eFDP, (interoperability Through European Collaboration – european Flight Data Processing) is being considered by other European countries as the answer to their future air traffic control needs. The project is designed to operate within the overall iTEC-eFDP framework being developed jointly by NATS and Indra with the Spanish air navigation service provider, AENA, and its German counterpart, DFS.
The system will also be interoperable with the SESAR project, which is aimed at harmonising air traffic management across Europe by 2020 against a background of growing air traffic, greater safety and increased efficiency. SESAR is being driven by the European Commission and Eurocontrol, the co-ordinating body for air traffic in Europe. NATS’ Supply Chain Director Chris Odam said: “We have a strong business collaboration with Indra that is highly valued by both organisations.
“Last year NATS and Indra signed a System Framework Agreement and a number of other contracts, so our relationship is developing at a number of levels and across a range of business activities.
“It is this breadth of activity and the already strong personal relationships between key players in our organisations which will make our working together a success.”
NATS manages some of the most complex and busiest air space in the world, with nearly 2.5m flights handled last year. It provides air traffic services at 15 airports in the UK, including Heathrow and Gatwick, and is a partner worldwide in air space design, airport tower design and airfield management.
Indra is one of Spain’s leading IT companies with 22,000 employees and customers in more than 80 countries across Europe and Latin America.
Source: National Air Traffic Services (NATS)
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