At a recent Convention held at the Royal Aeronautical Society, the topics of Current Problems and Future Concepts relating to Air Traffic Management were given extensive treatment by speakers from a variety of backgrounds. In his paper on ‘NATS — Taking Stock’, Air Commodore Huxley described the historical basis of the National Air Traffic Services and mentioned its formation some 20 years ago. At that time, the prospect was for a much more complicated mixture of civil and military aviation and an integrated solution had to be found. The three arbitrary areas of military, commercial and recreational flying each have to maintain their major fields of common interest and at the same time, avoid possible mutual conflicts. Thus, for example, reliable public transport aircraft require a close working relationship between the operator and the ATC system, whereas in military flying, the emphasis is on self‐reliance. Over the 20 years referred to, there has been a three‐fold increase in the volume of en‐route traffic and the altitude has been doubled at which most of it wishes to fly. In the future, the prospect of reducing separation is not considered very probable and among other possibilities, tighter control of low‐level flying is considered probable.
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