The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and air traffic service provider NATS confirmed today that the department responsible for the production of the UKs aeronautical charts and data will transfer from the CAA to NATS later this year.
The department, which is currently part of the CAAs Directorate of Airspace Policy, is responsible for managing and producing the UKs aeronautical charts and controlling the UK aeronautical co-ordinates database. The move follows internationally recommended best practice, as set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which states that service provision tasks should be separate from regulation. Phil Roberts, Assistant Director of Airspace Policy in the CAA, said: As well as ensuring that the UK complies with ICAO requirements it will also improve the integrity of the flow of aeronautical data that transfers between the two organisations and it will help to eradicate any inconsistencies in the data sets that currently exist between the CAA and NATS in providing the services. The requirement to provide the services will be included in the NATS Licence which means that the CAA, as NATS regulator, will ensure that the high standards will be maintained. The Department will now be part of the NATS Aeronautical Information Services based at Heathrow. Lance Stuart of NATS Services added: We will be able to develop the charting service to a level that the CAA in its regulatory role cannot. The move will also reduce the duplication of effort between the two organisations, starting with the construction of a single database. We are confident that users will still enjoy the quality of service that they have previously experienced while, over time, they will also see further improvements as we develop the services.