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NATS extends EFPS ‘Hub and Spoke’ solution to Farnborough Airport

The UK’s air traffic services provider NATS has extended its new Hub and Spoke Electronic Flight Progress Strip (EFPS) system to Farnborough Airport.

The launch of the new system comes after its implementation in October last year at Belfast International and Belfast City airports. It will include Farnborough’s tower and approach services in addition to its Lower Airspace Radar Service (LARS), which managed nearly 100,000 flights in 2017.

Subsequently, the airport controllers stopped using paper strips to record aircraft information as they supported electronic flight progress data by using the new Hub and Spoke system architecture.

Farnborough Airport handled more than 27,000 movements last year and is home to the busiest lower airspace radar area in the country.

NATS general manager at Farnborough Airport Maggie Gault said: “For NATS Farnborough, this is the first step towards an integrated electronic ATM system.

“The new system will lead to a more effective and efficient service for our customer, TAG Farnborough Airport, as well as the wider aviation community.”

NATS added that all its Hub and Spoke systems connect to a centralised set of data servers to drive operational screens in connected airports.

This process abolished the need for every airport air traffic control tower to host its own locally-installed servers and the provision of individual data links at a specific site.

As a result, the new electronic flight information system reduces infrastructure costs for airports.

At Farnborough, the airport operator has developed and integrated a new stand-management system as an interface with its EFPS.

The new system is also planned to be introduced at other airports including Bristol, Southampton, Cardiff and London City.

As well as reducing workload for controllers, it offers safety and capacity benefits because controllers can use their time to handle more flights and monitor increased levels of air traffic.

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