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NATS Lose Gatwick Contract (Split thread)

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NATS Lose Gatwick Contract (Split thread)

Old 31st Jul 2014, 21:22
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
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Well at least we know it will be a"safe and efficient" service. It must be true DFS said so several times in the press release.
I suppose the ATCOs will be on zero hours contracts like their Gatwick colleagues on baggage (not) handling. So instead of a four delay at the luggage carousel, the punters wait 4 hours in the holding pattern for a landing slot. Nice one EGKK.
qsyenroute is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2014, 11:19
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
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What surprises me is that people are so surprised that NATS have lost another contract.

This has been coming for a long time and from speaking to colleagues who work for or who have worked for other ANSPs in Europe, NATS are a dinosaur who need to move into the real world quickly.

Manchester and Stansted, both owned by MAG, must be ripe for plucking now as well.

Give it 10-15years and I wouldn't be surprised if NATS consisted of the Enroute side plus Heathrow.
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Old 1st Aug 2014, 12:39
  #103 (permalink)  
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If I remember correctly, 'Dinosaurs' were very successful animals.
NATS has changed beyond all recognition in recent years.
There is an old saying…….."Buy in haste, repent at leisure". The next 10 years in Surrey could be very interesting.
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Old 1st Aug 2014, 14:18
  #104 (permalink)  
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Wise words Mr Zook. unfortunately like everything else in this paradise we live in services every where are paired to the bone and only the cheapest will do; and as has been pointed out before what you get is the non baggage handling shambles that is going on at EGKK; people want cheap then they have to put up with degraded service.
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Old 1st Aug 2014, 14:32
  #105 (permalink)  
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They were very successful Zooker.

In their time.

But like all things, the world changes and moves on.

I'm only voicing my opinion but listening to other ATCOs from other ANSPs and to friends in NATS, it does sound to me like NATS is falling behind and relying on the past to sell their product.

Why shouldn't Gatwick or Birmingham go elsewhere for the provision of ATC if they think they can get a better deal? We all do it in everyday life.

Hopefully NATS management will learn some lessons very quickly and keep hold of their remaining contracts, then come back stronger when Gatwick is tendered again in years to come.

If they want it that is.

Maybe I'm a cynic but part of me thinks, as I mentioned previously, that there's a bigger game at play here and we'll see a gradual dismantling of the airport side of the business with the exception of Heathrow. Then NATS will concentrate on the enroute and oceanic side and on growing overseas.

Or I could be talking out of my ar*e completely.

Will be interesting to see what the next 5-10years bring.
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Old 1st Aug 2014, 15:02
  #106 (permalink)  
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mhk77: Don't think you're talking out of your rear end one bit.

On the contrary, completely agree with you. The next five to ten years certainly will prove interesting.

It's the NATS mentality which considers itself a cut above the rest that is losing the NSL contracts. The "we are the best - cogito ergo sum: we must always charge a premium" attitude will likely continue to be the downfall of NSL.

The Gatwick ATC contract wasn't awarded merely on cost. Yes, it was and always is a large, large factor, but how can people honestly say that any one of the several, large ANSPs that exist cannot do an equally safe and efficient, if not better job? What coherent proof does NATS have that says it is impossible? None, it's pure inward-looking arrogance in my mind! Someone mentioned having the mentality of Civvy Servants - they're right!

DFS provide very high safety and efficiency in their numerous operations across Germany, while continuing to add and develop innovation. NATS have achieved the increased capacity etc at Gatwick, there's no doubt, but they are not the only 'ATC Gods' with that capability!
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Old 1st Aug 2014, 17:13
  #107 (permalink)  
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"they are not the only 'ATC Gods' with that capability!".
But why are they not allowed to 'compete' for ATC contracts throughout Europe then?
If the state-owned DFS can do EGKK, surely the PPP'd NATS should be able to bid for EDDF, EDDS, EDDM, EDDH, EDDK, etc?
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Old 1st Aug 2014, 20:55
  #108 (permalink)  
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This leads on a broader question.

Is ATC fit for privatisation?

Both at Brum and Gatters the change has been to either an in-house solution, or a contract over 10 years.

The shortest contract options I have heard off are over 5 years.

If each contract is 5 years, and there is at least a 12 month changeover period at the end, it means these things run over several company budgets (and probably at least 2 almost completely different boards/high level mangement teams).

The combination of this being so very long term (in a world where short term financial gain seems to be everything) combined with the potential massive loss to the economy if several of these contracts go wrong at once, makes me wonder if the Germans may have got this one right.

By not allowing the major airports ATC to leave the monopoly the have safegaurded their national interest. Making sure the major airports (that in some ways help fuel the national economy) shouldn't be under risk of a transfer of contract going wrong. At the same time they allow their regional airports to open bids for ATC, but on a national scale a loss of Paderborn isn't going to have ahuge effect. If Frankfurt shut down for a week though, that would be, interesting.

Privatisation can be very good, but I'm not convinced everything is better privatised. The second largest airport in the UK might be one of those things, interesting years ahead for sure.
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Old 1st Aug 2014, 21:13
  #109 (permalink)  
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Er, because I didn't know that they are. So why haven't they?
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Old 2nd Aug 2014, 09:21
  #110 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ZOOKER
If I remember correctly, 'Dinosaurs' were very successful animals.
NATS has changed beyond all recognition in recent years.
There is an old saying…….."Buy in haste, repent at leisure". The next 10 years in Surrey could be very interesting.
I thought the last time I sent something to the CAA, Gatwick was in West Sussex?

P.S. My favourite dinosaur was the Pedantosaurus.
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Old 2nd Aug 2014, 09:41
  #111 (permalink)  
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Interesting to see how well the tabloid style jokes about tanks,sausages,them coming over here etc.etc. went down amongst the staff.As that side cracking roadshow passed through about a week before the result was announced I wonder how well judged that is now felt to be...
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Old 2nd Aug 2014, 11:46
  #112 (permalink)  
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Gingerbread Man,
Ha ha, well-spotted. That bit of The U.K. south-east of Daventry has always been somewhat of a grey-area to me.
Carry on...
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 12:07
  #113 (permalink)  
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Aviation House (CAA) is situated on the original airport which is in Sussex, but I think you'll find the postal address of the present airport is Horley, which is in Surrey, so ZOOKER is correct.
chevvron is online now  
Old 3rd Aug 2014, 12:39
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: 50+ north
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From the London Airport Gatwick website:

Write to us at:

Customer Services
6th floor, Destinations Place
South Terminal
Gatwick Airport
West Sussex RH6 0NP

So that would appear to at least put the runways in West Sussex, what about the Tower and North Terminal?
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Old 3rd Aug 2014, 15:00
  #115 (permalink)  
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Solved, all of the Airport (old and new) is within West Sussex.

West Sussex County Council Interactive Map (iMap)

Back to the thread?
TCAS FAN is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2014, 08:38
  #116 (permalink)  
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KK Location

I've kept all my maps from my Herc' nav' days and in the old one- inch OS sheet 182, Brighton & Worthing, it shows quite clearly that Gatwick was in Surrey. The county boundary was on the old Horley to Crawley road at a place called County Oak.

My guess is that under Local Government re-organisation in 1974, when, if you remember, places like the counties of Avon and Cleveland were formed, Crawley in West Sussex had it's boundary changed to absorb the airport - perhaps because the vast majority of the KK workforce lived there.
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 10:14
  #117 (permalink)  
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Does this necessarily have to be a bad thing?
What if it turns out to be a good thing for the controllers & staff at Gatwick?

I have no factual evidence to back my statement, but purely on a gut feeling, I think I'd rather work for DFS than NATS. Especially on the airports / towers side of things...

There is a story** saying that one of the now key figures at DFS for delivering this Gatwick deal used to be at the top of NATS airports.. and used to be heralded as a champion of all things NATS, expansion, brand values, integrity - and now has become a DFS villain?
Maybe not all that NATSglitters™ is NATSgold™?

**The events depicted in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to any real life person or fact is merely coincidental."
LEGAL TENDER is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2014, 10:36
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
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All this debate about which County Gatwick is in is symptomatic of the problem in NATS.
We get so worried about such details and spend huge amounts of time and resources to ensure we use the "best maps [to ISO 9002], best people and meticulous research to get the gold plated answer" when really it don't matter!
Just put Gatwick Airport on the envelope and it will get there.

Privatisation stuffed us by not having regulated airports (unlike Germany), pension costs on the company (unlike Germany) plus loans against the company to buy it.
Having HUGE HQ costs (unlike the DFS company set up to compete) means there's no way NATS can compete on price despite paring the operational stuff to the minimum (and below!)
We set up FerroNATS to do the same in Spain, but there's no way they'll get the big Airports.

The crazy scenario looming in the future - European Countries will provide ATC at their own large important airports (except the UK cos we didn't regulate them) and have foreign companies do the rest of the country's airports cheaper!

Sadly, I can see NSL collapsing, helped by "advisors" who once worked for us - what happened to commercial confidentiality in their contracts?

I just hope NERL isn't in a similar position regarding competition, otherwise last one to leave turn off the radar.
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 16:16
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
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EGKK record

Just like to say that despite all the uncertainty and debate amongst all you lovely NATS and non NATS people, we pushed 904 off a single stretch of Tarmac at Gatwick on Friday.
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Old 4th Aug 2014, 16:41
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: france
Posts: 126
Originally Posted by LookingForAJob
As a certified ANSP, they are.
ATCOs are definitely certified too... and it seems more and more urgent to take over the #EUATMcontrols and become ourselves our own proper ANSP... Time to call #EUATCOsCOLLECTIVE and carry on our own stuff... #WeJustCanWin...
saintex2002 is offline  

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