NATS at the World ATM Congress 2020

In this 100th anniversary year for air traffic control, NATS will be a major supporter of the 8th annual World ATM Congress, being held in Madrid on 10-12 March.



NATS at the World ATM Congress 2020

Join NATS on stand 826 to explore the latest thinking in advancing airspace and airport performance, showcasing our suite of market-leading products that address key aviation challenges.

NATS is also participating in the SESAR guided walking tours this year, and will be presenting on industry topics such as the role of automation in managing complex traffic, deploying SESAR solutions in UK airspace, departure wake vortex concepts and enabling trajectory-based operations.

On stand we will be covering a range of industry topics, including Artificial Intelligence and ADS-B, as well as providing an insight into a number of key partnership projects. FerroNATS, the Spanish ANSP owned by NATS and Ferrovial, will also feature.


Event highlights

  • The future for Time Based Separation

Time based Separation first went into operation in Heathrow in March 2015 and is a core module to a suite of controller tools called Intelligent Approach which was created in partnership by NATS and Leidos. The tools of Intelligent Approach are constantly being enhanced and in March 2018 the introduction of “enhanced” TBS (eTBS), including RECAT EU and Optimised Runway Delivery which provides separation to threshold, was successfully upgraded at Heathrow providing further benefits, for the airport, it’s airline customers and passengers alike.

Furthermore the Intelligent Approach tools for Pairwise and Optimised Mixed Mode are now in development, and SESAR simulations have started on departure concepts. Since last year’s World ATM Congress event both Toronto and Schiphol Airports have committed to introducing eTBS.

So, the industry has come a long way since TBS was first implemented and there is still a lot more to come!

NATS speaker: Andy Shand, Head of Queue & Capacity Management Solutions

When: Tuesday 10th, 11:20 – 11:40

Where: Tower Theatre


  • Maverick Awards

The Maverick Awards recognise outstanding achievements in innovation, collaboration, and sustainability in air traffic management (ATM).

The Collaboration Award recognises the importance of effective relationships and partnerships across disciplines and sectors to achieve a shared goal. NATS has been named in two finalist entries:

  • A consortium of Heathrow Airport Limited, NATS, Harris Orthogon, and EUROCONTROL for the introduction of Target Times of Arrivals at Heathrow Airport through SESAR project PJ24
  • NATS, NAV CANADA, and Aireon LLC for the innovative development and deployment of the world’s first global, real-time space-based ADS-B service

When: Tuesday 10th, 15:00 – 16:00

Where: Wing ATM Theatre


  • The Route to Net Zero: How ATM Can Help the Aviation Industry to Decarbonise

In the UK, Sustainable Aviation has set out the UK aviation industry’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Air traffic management has an important role to play in achieving that target through airspace modernisation and improvements to airline and airport operations.

As a founding member of Sustainable Aviation, NATS fully supports this commitment in the fight against climate change and are doing all we can to reduce the emissions from our operations. Hear about some of the steps we’re taking.

NATS speaker: Ian Jopson, Head of Environmental & Community Affairs

When: Wednesday 11th, 13:40 – 14:00

Where: Aireon Spotlight Stage


  • The Power of Predictability When Every Day is Different - Collaboration to Deliver Target Times of Arrival at Heathrow

Hear about how a network trial of Target Times of Arrival (TTAs) demonstrated between 26% and 41% reduction in ATFM delay.  Heathrow Airport Ltd, NATS, Harris Orthogon, EUROCONTROL and multiple airline partners collaborated in the implementation of innovative technologies and operational processes to enable the shift from the existing departure management paradigm to a dynamic, prediction-based, arrival management model. 

Along the way we overcame technical and operational challenges and ultimately, successfully delivered real-world application of Target Times of Arrival. This work was dependent on, and clearly demonstrated, the true benefits of cross-organisational collaboration in the civil aviation industry.

NATS speaker: Ian Brunby, Product Manager

When: Wednesday 11th, 14:45 – 15:05

Where: Frequentis Arena


  • FAA’s Future Vision Challenges and Principles to Consider / Leadership of Thought

Panel discussion will be about mindset shifts on UTM, what’s needed in international harmonization efforts, and how industry collaboration is supporting faster integration – including:

  • Integrating Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM), ATM, ETM and Civil Commercial Space in the National Airspace System; developing the suite of capabilities for the UTM
  • Dismantling roadblocks to harmonization, especially for UTM
  • Understanding the uniqueness of UTM – versus ATM – in pushing regulators to work with industry differently
  • Leveraging industry innovation to scale up to UAM

NATS Speaker: Andy Sage, Head of Unified Traffic Management

When: Wednesday 11th, 15:15 – 15:50

Where: Wing ATM Theatre

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