BT partners with NATS to modernise UK air traffic operations

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience in crafting compelling narratives and making complex topics accessible. His articles and interviews with industry leaders have earned him recognition as a key influencer by organisations like Onalytica. Under his leadership, publications have been praised by analyst firms such as Forrester for their excellence and performance. Connect with him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (

BT has established a seven-year partnership with NATS, a leading provider of air traffic control services.

The strategic collaboration aims to bolster NATS’ technological foundation, creating a robust and adaptable network architecture to support air traffic operations across the UK.

NATS currently manages a staggering 2.5 million flights annually, underscoring the critical role it plays in ensuring safe and efficient air travel. The new long-term contract with BT is poised to revolutionise the technological landscape of air traffic management in the country, enhancing NATS’ ability to meet the evolving demands of the aviation industry.

Central to the partnership is BT’s commitment to consolidate and modernise NATS’ crucial data network.

The comprehensive overhaul will not only optimise the data infrastructure but also elevate the organisation’s cybersecurity posture. BT’s extensive expertise in digital networking and cybersecurity will be harnessed to fortify NATS’ sites against potential threats, ensuring the resilience and security of its operations.

This cybersecurity initiative will include the establishment of a proactive central coordination point, dedicated to enhancing cyber resilience. The joint efforts between BT and NATS will help to set a new standard for the aviation industry’s cybersecurity practices.

Andy Rowe, Director of Central Government, at BT, said:

“Secure, high-bandwidth connectivity is essential in keeping the UK’s air traffic moving in the future—so, after many years of building world-class networks and cybersecurity for providers of critical national infrastructure, we are looking forward to delivering this now for NATS.

Under the partnership, we will be responsible for both network provision and cybersecurity within the NATS strategic supplier ecosystem, and will be embarking on consolidating and modernising the entire network to build a world-class digital infrastructure that is fit for the future of air traffic management.”

NATS’ operational footprint spans 14 UK airports and encompasses the management of all UK airspace from its control centres in Swanwick and Prestwick. NATS has also extended its air traffic services to Hong Kong International Airport in addition to its longstanding presence at Gibraltar Airport.

Tim Bullock, Supply Chain & Facilities Management Director at NATS, commented:

“NATS is implementing a truly transformational technology programme to keep the skies safe and support our customers worldwide, so it is vital we have BT as industry leaders alongside us.

We select organisations at the top of their game technically, to join our collaborative ecosystem of partners. I’m delighted with the partnership we have formed and look forward to working together for many years to come to deliver great solutions for our customers.”

With BT’s technical prowess and NATS’ position in air traffic services, this collaboration will reshape the landscape of air navigation, ensuring safer and more efficient skies for the UK.

As the partnership unfolds over the next seven years, the aviation industry should witness a technological transformation that will set new benchmarks for operational excellence and cybersecurity in the skies.

(Image Credit: BT)

See also: Risk Register 2023: Infrastructure cyberattack could harm thousands

Looking to revamp your digital transformation strategy? Learn more about Digital Transformation Week taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. The comprehensive event is co-located with Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: , , , ,

View Comments
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *