iFACTS, a ground-breaking predictive tool for air traffic controllers, has won the IHS Jane's Enabling Technology Award for 2013. iFACTS was developed by NATS, with the support of Altran and Lockheed Martin. It is one of the most advanced air traffic control systems in the world, providing tools for trajectory prediction and conflict detection.
iFACTS allows air traffic controllers to increase the amount of air traffic they can handle, thereby increasing capacity and enhancing safety. Working around 18 minutes ahead of real time, iFACTS enables air traffic controllers to spot any unexpected behaviour by individual aircraft, highlighting potentially dangerous situations in the sky. iFACTS was introduced to the main NATS control room in November 2011.
Altran was appointed by NATS to develop the new software for iFACTS. The software had to meet SW01, the stringent safety regulation required by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority. Altran applied its 'Correctness by Construction' method in developing the software, deploying a multi-disciplinary, multi-national team of over 100 engineers and working with NATS at all levels.
Welcoming the award, Denton Clutterbuck, who leads Altran's aerospace practice in the UK, said: "The launch of iFACTS has been one of the most exciting developments in the aviation industry in decades. This award recognises iFACTS as a truly innovative and enabling technology. It has been Altran's privilege to partner with NATS in developing this ground-breaking new technology. We are delighted to have received such a prestigious award in recognition of this project, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with NATS as iFACTS is developed further in the coming period."
Tim Bullock, Director of Supply Chain at NATS, said: "This award is testament to the strength of the strategic partnerships within our supply chain and demonstrates how our partners are able to collaborate to help NATS deliver key projects."