Page 15 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Future Skies 2024
P. 15

                    be scaled, paving the way for regional airports to diversify their operations and one day become drone logistics hubs.
Looking at Advanced Air Mobility, in December NATS ran the first large scale simulations of eVTOL flights within controlled airspace. This was the latest milestone for the Advanced Mobility Ecosystem Consortium, another Future Flight Challenge project aiming to prove the viability of AAM in the UK.
We simulated eVTOL flights from Bristol Airport through the airspace around Farnborough, and then onto London City Airport. But what made these ground- breaking was the combination of new prototype technology and the creation of a new ‘Airspace Manager’ function.
Our teams created a proposed concept of operations, where eVTOL operators file flight plans via an app that could then be approved or amended within minutes. The whole flight would then
be deconflicted from other aircraft before even taking off, with the ‘Airspace Manager’ function monitoring from a digital ‘master control room’.
In this scenario, voice communication between eVTOL pilots and air traffic control would only be required by exception, and while the Airspace Manager function was fulfilled by a person during our simulations, it could one day be automated.
While not the finished article, this concept strikes the best balance between safety and airspace access for AAM without adding to the workload of controllers or pilots. It also opens the door to airports becoming ‘vertiports,’ with eVTOLs operating seamlessly along existing traffic and offering a new source of income.
Both these projects have moved us along our roadmap and demonstrate
the value and necessity of achieving airspace integration. With more to come in 2024 and beyond, we are excited to be working with our partners to usher in this new generation of aviation.
Get in touch to find out how we can support you in advancing aviation and keeping the skies safe.
Partnerships - The future of UTM
The shift from traditional air traffic management to one that integrates a host of new airspace users to the skies is one that requires vision and determinations. It’s a challenge that most industry leaders will agree can’t be achieved alone.
Eve Air Mobility, a pioneering force in accelerating Urban Air Mobility (UAM), and NATS Services, the commercial arm of the UK’s foremost air traffic control provider, joined forces at the ’23 Dubai Airshow aiming to revolutionise future traffic management services for UAM operators worldwide.
Their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) marked
a pivotal milestone fostering business development between the two companies to advance technologies for a faster, more efficient and sustainable urban transportation system.
“Our first association with NATS began in early 2021 as part of
the UK UAM Consortium with
the UK CAA Regulatory Sandbox, developing a concept of operations for the London environment, including air traffic management arrangements and proposing new regulatory solutions” said Johann Bordais, CEO of Eve. “Our work with NATS throughout the years both fortifies our newly established relationship and supports our forthcoming projects and future endeavors designed to transform
the urban air mobility sector globally.”
Eve and NATS also have been
part of the Future Flight Challenge through the Advanced Mobility Ecosystem Consortium with leading British aviation companies since July 2022. Developed by
UK Research and Innovation and delivered by Innovate UK, the program is UK Government funded and aims to accelerate the progress of new technologies and advanced aviation solutions while showcasing the societal benefits of aviation’s progress.
“We already work closely with Eve as part of the UK Future Flight Phase 3 AMEC project, working
to prepare UK airspace for future UAM operations,” said NATS Services MD, Guy Adams. “Going forward, we intend to grow our collaborative efforts to explore future traffic management products and solutions worldwide and enable the introduction and scaling of UAM across many countries in a consistent, high-performance and safe approach.”
Eve’s Urban ATM software is an agnostic solution that will enable the integration of all airspace users in the urban environment. This
is critical to support the safety, efficiency, and improvement of the entire UAM ecosystem, including fleet and vertiport operators.

   13   14   15   16   17