NATS has become the first air traffic service provider to be certified against PAS 55, the international asset management standard, for its en-route operations.

The independent certification, awarded by Lloyd’s Register, demonstrates that NATS manages its assets in accordance with the requirements set out in the British Standard’s Institute’s PAS 55 specification, the internationally recognised framework for best-practice systems for asset management.

“The award of a Lloyd’s Register PAS 55 certificate represents a significant achievement for any organisation,” said Chris Knowles, Technical Director, Transportation, at Lloyd’s Register. “Our assessment approach is no light touch. We challenge organisations to prove that their asset management system not only exists, but is used effectively. The NATS team demonstrated a consistent and robust approach to asset management, with a demonstrable focus on delivering a safe and sustainable air-traffic control service.”

By undergoing Lloyd’s Register’s independent assessment, an organisation’s asset management system is rigorously challenged and tested, providing assurance to all stakeholders that its corporate risk is understood and is being managed.

The certification is the culmination of a four-year journey for NATS, which set out to better understand and optimise the full lifecycle costs of the diverse set of operational and building assets that it uses to support a safe and efficient air-traffic service in the UK, according to Chris Odam, NATS’ Supply Chain and Business Services Director.

The company’s assets range from radar stations on remote hilltops to state-of-the-art computer software at the control centres. The asset management processes, coupled with other business changes, have allowed NATS to significantly reduce its operating cost, control its capital investment and to improve the safety and service levels for the airspace users.

“We were impressed with the thoroughness of the process that Lloyd’s Register went through,” Odam said.  “The Lloyd’s Register team was very supportive and often illustrated examples of good practice to maximise the value to the NATS business.”

During the certification process, which took place over a nine-month period, more than 100 members of the staff at NATS, as well as personnel from key suppliers, were interviewed by Lloyd’s Register to ascertain if the company complied with the stringent PAS 55 criteria.

The full lifecycle of asset management requirements were covered, including the supply chain, asset acquisition, project management, risk management, operation and maintenance, logistics support and decommissioning.

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