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Case Study

Safeguarding NATS’ Mainframe Against Costly Failures

7 min read


Reliable IT engineering support, building a resilient system that operates reliably round the clock.

A&O IT Group supplies NATS with the compatible control units for multiple IBM mainframe systems to provide control, monitoring and management functions.

Regardless of the project's nature, our engineers are fully trained, briefed, equipped, and ready to go with minimal disturbance to NATS’ daily operational activities.

The Challenge

A&O IT Group’s engineers are on 24-hour standby and available should an issue ever arise in NATS’ mainframe environment.

But system failures aren’t the only reason A&O IT Group engineers have been deployed in the past. During the London Olympics in 2012, NATS required a new control unit to monitor the increased amount of air traffic arriving into the UK. The team of engineers at A&O IT Group provided NATS with the new hardware, installed it and ensured it integrated seamlessly into the existing mainframe system. In addition, NATS recently needed to upgrade their control units for all their mainframe systems for which A&O IT Group provided a modern Visara based solution.

To ensure resilience in NATS’ mainframe system, we run comprehensive testing on the installed solution on the development system (which replicates the operational NATS system) to make sure that there are no issues within the mainframe prior to anything going live on the production system.

A&O IT Group have served NATS for decades, providing a first-class service in the supply and integration of our mainframe communications needs.

Larry Hunter | (Design Authority Level 2 NAS and Related Systems)


Solution Benefits

NATS has developed a fully tailored and completely bespoke solution able to streamline operations and make specific changes to the system if required. Credibility and trustworthiness in the team at A&O IT Group has been further strengthened with the installation of new controllers and consoles in the mainframe to maintain a resilient system.


Should any technical issues come to light, NATS is fully supported by 24/7 dispatch engineers in the SLA, and further supported through A&O IT Group’s interconnected relationship with the technology manufacturers at Visara International.


Round the clock customer confidence in the system and being able to rely on the support of engineers should the need ever arise.




Born out of 25 years of working together professionally, the team at A&O IT Group has an unmatched level of understanding of NATS’ unique environment.


Long Term Impacts

NATS have an important responsibility to ensure air traffic control remains safe.

System or mainframe failures could have a severe impact on the ability for ATC to maintain a safe service, but through the reliable support of A&O IT Group’s dispatch engineer services, NATS have peace of mind that any issues in their infrastructure can be quickly resolved to avoid costly repercussions.

Discover Ultra-Responsive, Reliable IT Engineering Support from A&O IT Group IT problems can strike at any time.

To protect your people and your assets around the clock, fully vetted and trained A&O IT Group engineers can be deployed to meet your organisation’s requirements.

The partnership between A&O IT Group and NATS continues to thrive, and as the needs and requirements change, we’re prepared to support the client with any new opportunities or essential system updates going forward.

Ian Dewhirst | Lead Network & Mainframe Systems Consultant

A&O IT Group

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