iFACTS wins the Duke of Edinburgh’s Navigation Award for Technical Achievement

Published on: 29th July 2013

iFACTS, one of the most advanced air traffic control systems in the world, has won the Duke of
Edinburgh’s Navigation Award for Technical Achievement. The award was given by the Royal
Institute of Navigation, of which the Duke is the patron.

iFACTS was developed by NATS, with the support of Altran and Lockheed Martin. It is a set of tools that reduces a controller’s workload and increases the amount of traffic they can safely handle. It provides decision making support and facilitates the early detection of conflicts in and around the sector. iFACTS is providing a range of safety, capacity and environmental benefits. NATS reported that in 2012 iFACTS delivered an average 15% improvement in airspace capacity, with some sectors growing as high as 40%, without increasing the number of operational staff or redesigning of air routes. As a result, it has made a major contribution to NATS best ever delay performance, with ATC attributable delay averaging just 1.4 seconds per flight in 2012.

Peter Chapman-Andrews, Director of the Royal Institute of Navigation said: “I congratulate NATS,
Altran and Lockheed Martin for having developed iFACTS, an important and impressive innovation that is proving to be so effective at improving air traffic safety and capacity at a time when the long term trend is for the number of flights continues to increase.”
Denton Clutterbuck, Head of Aerospace and Defence at Altran UK, said: “iFACTS has helped NATS to revolutionise the way that it operates, with the amount of air traffic control delays reaching record lows. Altran is delighted to have played a pivotal role in the development of such an innovative and important new technology, which has already delivered a wide range of benefits to NATS and UK air travellers alike.”