Case Study 6

National Air Traffic Services


Having acquired PPP status and, after 9/11, having lost 8% of its revenue overnight, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) targeted sustainable savings of more than £10M pa through a business wide process improvement initiative.

Managers were seconded to become a dedicated team for one year to act as both facilitators and process consultants for a wide range of efficiency projects, all of which had to make savings right away. These facilitators were tasked to support directors and senior managers who had been appointed as sponsors for these improvement projects.

Targeted improvements covered all aspects of NATS business from safety to cost savings, from delay times reduction to improvements in engineering service levels. DDA Consulting were appointed to support this initiative.



We worked closely with the programme director to:
1. Provide coaching support for the programme director during the recruitment phase of the programme

2. Develop a competency framework and values set for the team of new facilitators

3. Design and deliver a three module programme of training and development for the facilitators

4. Provide ongoing coaching for the facilitators throughout their early projects

5. Participate as partner facilitators in some of the major business improvement projects


The team of facilitators (known as ACE Agents) facilitated over 40 business improvement projects over the first year. The training provided by DDA Consulting significantly improved the skill level of the facilitators in topics that included; leadership and team development, project management, process improvement, influencing and decision making and problem solving, among others. Their work resulted in significant savings and other benefits including:
  • Reduction in delays at targeted UK airports
  • Process improvements resulting in sustainable savings of over £12M
  • In year savings of over £20M

In addition to these direct quantitative results NATS benefited in its refinancing project by being able to show immediate efficiency savings which raised its credibility with investors. Long term benefits included significant improvements in facilitation skills across the organisation. This has led to a more structured, methodical and professional approach to future business improvement projects.

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