NATS records first day with zero westbound North Atlantic tracks via OTS

    NATS manager operational performance Jacob Young, via the company’s official blog, reported (16-Mar-2021) 09-Mar-2021 was the first day since at least the 1960s, and possibly since the inception of trans-Atlantic air travel, there were zero westbound tracks over the North Atlantic. NATS is planning to do away with its Organised Track Structure (OTS) across the North Atlantic on days when the current low levels of traffic allow. Up to 12 tracks are created west and eastbound daily, designed to try and take advantage of the day’s Jet Stream activity, giving airlines the most efficient transoceanic route based on the information available 12 hours prior to departure. The tracks provide a predictable operating environment for both ATC and aircraft operators, but the concept has changed very little since its inception. Since 2019, NATS and NAV CANADA started to introduce Aireon‘s satellite-based ADS-B service, giving the ANSPs access to “radar style” real-time surveillance over the ocean for the first time. This allowed NATS to do away with the OTS Westbound track. [more – original PR

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