On the first day of 2018, NATS plans to launch an online pre-notification tool for all general aviation (GA) flights wishing to transit Class D controlled airspace within the London area. NATS said that Jan. 1, the pre-notification tool would be available on the portal.
The tool was developed in response to a controller survey, NATS said, and will give pilots the option to submit their notification on the portal at least 60 minutes before their intended crossing time. This would allow NATS controllers to prepare for their arrival. It is also part of a wider Airspace Users Portal that will host all non-standard flight requests in one place later in the year, NATS said. This includes requests for balloon tethering, unmanned aircraft systems and GA aircraft.
“Under the current system for general aviation pilots wishing to transit into controlled airspace, the air traffic controller responsible has no prior knowledge of the request and therefore has little opportunity to formulate a potential plan for the crossing,” said Tammy Storrow, NATS terminal control safety improvement specialist. “Pre-notification is especially important in today’s busy airspace where complex air traffic scenarios can develop rapidly. The new tool will enable our ATC units to see the requests well in advance and plan ahead, which will benefit everyone involved.”