NATS, the partly privatised provider of UK air traffic services, has appointed a technologist, David Harrison, as its new group director of safety.
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His job involves helping to ensure that near-misses are kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. The CEO of NATS, Paul Barron, said he had confidence that Harrison would "uphold NATS' outstanding, well-deserved safety reputation".
Harrison has been at NATS for 24 years, and worked his way up to run the architecture and integrity department within technology and programmes, where he was responsible for the technical management of NATS' long-term investment plan, the architecture of engineering systems, and developing technical strategy.
He now reports directly to Barron.
Harrison has played an important role in shaping the organisation of the new Prestwick air traffic control centre, having overseen the transfer of operations in the Manchester area to Prestwick, Baron said.
NATS handled 2.2 million flights in 2009, covering the UK and eastern North Atlantic. It carried more than 200 million passengers safely through some of the busiest and most complex airspace in the world.