NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services, has awarded Indra a contract worth € 67 million, whereby the two companies will work together on a complex and technically demanding project to build the next generation of flight data processing equipment.

The project is designed to operate within the overall interoperability Through European Collaboration – European Flight Data Processing (iTEC-eFDP) framework being developed jointly by NATS and Indra with the Spanish air navigation service provider, AENA, and its German counterpart, DFS. The iTEC-eFDP system is also being considered by other countries in Europe as the answer to their future air traffic control needs.

The system will also be interoperable with the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project, which is aimed at harmonising air traffic management across Europe by 2020 against a background of growing air traffic, greater safety and increased efficiency. SESAR is being driven by the European Commission and Eurocontrol, the co-ordinating body for air traffic in Europe.

Indra’s general manager, Rafael Gallego, said, "We are delighted to have been recognised by NATS as its strategic partner to take this programme forward. We look forward to developing with NATS the systems, which respond to the most demanding safety and capacity requirements."

In reply, NATS’s supply chain director Chris Odam said, "Last year NATS and Indra signed a System Framework Agreement and a number of other contracts, so our relationship is developing at a number of levels and across a range of business activities. It is this breadth of activity and the already strong personal relationships between key players in our organisations which will make our working together a success."