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NATS and NAV Canada Revolutionize North Atlantic Flight Efficiency

By Juliet Van Wagenen | December 2, 2014
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Closeup of workers at the Prestwick ATC Centre
Closeup of workers at the Prestwick ATC Centre. Photo: NATS

[Avionics Today 12-02-2014] The NATS Control Centre in Prestwick, Scotland and NAV Canada’s Control Centre in Gander, Newfoundland have implemented a shared oceanic Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. The new system aims to assist controllers as they direct aircraft across the North Atlantic — the busiest oceanic airspace in the world.
The Gander Automated Air Traffic System (GAATS+) technology, originally installed in Gander and now also operational in Prestwick, allows controllers at the two centers to exchange messages back and forth with advanced automation. GAATS+ also provides controllers with a snapshot of current and planned traffic as well as available route profiles, allowing the controller to easily identify an aircraft’s preferred route and provide a conflict-free clearance.

Other enhanced features will facilitate further improvements to the safety and efficiency of transatlantic air routes and help to position the two organizations for future initiatives such as System Wide Information Management (SWIM) to enable greater sharing and integration of Air Traffic Management (ATM) system information.

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