TITAN stakeholder workshop – 17 March 2010

On 31/05/2010, in TITAN, by steve

TITAN is an EC 7th Framework project and the acronym stands for “Turnaround Integration in Trajectory and Network”. As its name suggests, TITAN is looking at ways of optimizing the turnaround process while integrating it in trajectory based, net-centric operations.

The Workshop held in Brussels on 17 March 2010 had two objectives: on the one hand it presented the project to the community and on the other it collected stakeholders’ needs and requirements in the context of the turnaround process. All the actors (airspace users, airports, ANSPs and handling companies) who would be affected by the new TITAN concept had been invited to attend the workshop and the turn-out was very good. It was therefore possible to capture their daily concerns, needs and proposals in a representative manner.

The format chosen for the workshop was that of focused brainstorming with selected facilitators making sure that the time and scope objectives were observed. As it turned out, the format was very successful and participants contributed actively in the general sessions as well as in the group sessions.

The introductory session

Work started with an introduction of the project followed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking giving an overview of their main activities in the context of turnaround and the input they expected from TITAN to fill the gaps identified in the relevant parts of the SESAR work packages.

Next, an analysis of the current situation was presented, highlighting the potential bottlenecks. An initial turnaround model was also sketched to seed and start the discussions.

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Data Link Users Forum announced

On 28/05/2010, in Events, by steve

The next Data Link Users Forum will be held on 13-15 July 2010 at EUROCONTROL headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

13 July is an airline-only round table discussion day. 14 and 15 July are open to experts from all fields.

The goal of the Data Link (DLK) Users Forum is to assist aircraft operators to improve the system performance and maximize the operational and economic benefits of air/ground data link communication services through the exchange of technical information. The DLK Users Forum is a coordinating activity among airlines and cargo carriers, aircraft manufacturers, avionics manufacturers, and data link service providers on technical issues of mutual interest leading to the identification and resolution of common problems. The DLK Users Forum also provides an opportunity for coordination among airlines, civil aviation authorities, and air traffic service providers on the direction and schedule of new Air Traffic Service (ATS) data link programs.

This years’ DLK Users Forum will continue the dialogue among Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and airlines relative to the data link services to be provided in designated airspace and the schedule for the introduction of these services.

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SESAR Concept of Operations in limbo?

On 28/05/2010, in SESAR's Palace, by cleo

One of the more unfortunate developments during the SESAR definition phase concerned the Concept of Operations. At first what passed as the concept was basically inadequate and it was only after the insistence of the airspace users that work started on what in the end became the SESAR Concept of Operations or CONOPS. Peculiarly, it was never really recognized as an official deliverable although, again on the insistence of the airspace users, a reference was inserted in one of the official deliverables that pointed to the CONOPS as the basis of everything else.

Few definition phase documents generated so much debate and even enmity as the CONOPS. Its novel nature and truly forward looking ideas were hailed by some, hated by others. In the end the released version, which was in many ways a compromise between the parties concerned, still contained enough guidance to ensure that a system built to realize it would do justice to the needs of future air traffic management.

And now we jump to the present where rumors abound about the SESAR concept work once again being in trouble. Last I heard, people seem to be saying that the concept is currently a blank box in the SESAR work and there will be no ops concept on the table until 2011. What about the original CONOPS? The answer is an enigmatic: they do not like it any more.

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Volcanic ash and jet engines do not mix

On 27/05/2010, in Environment - Without hot air, by steve

Although the following pictures have appeared on several sites already, we thought it would be interesting to provide them also on Roger-Wilco. They show clearly what happens when a jet engine flies through a volcanic ash cloud.

The plane is a Cessna Citation that flew out of Germany and they escaped because the other engine kept running, even if with reduced power.

The burns are due to hot air being blocked from escaping as the cooling ducts were clogged by the ash. Interestingly the stator seems to have failed rather than the rotor.

Behold…

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The tower with a soul… 16.

On 27/05/2010, in The tower with a soul, by lajos

9/11 and other events of consequence.

11 September 2001 started like any other late summer day. Unlike most people, I do like September. The stifling heat of August is gone, allergens are also mostly gone, and so I breathe easier. So, for me fall is not a reminder of passing but of a new beginning. May be there are others who think the same… Anyway, on that fateful day we were on day-shift. One half of our group was working in the tower from 7 to 9, the other was downstairs having breakfast or just drinking coffee. Switching TV channels, they happened on a channel showing one of the World Trade Center towers in New York belching smoke from a gaping hole in its side. At first they thought they were watching an action movie, except that this was a news channel… Paying more attention they soon realized that this was no action movie, they were watching the real thing! A passenger aircraft flew into the very building I too had visited a few years back. Soon the news arrived also in the tower cab and it gave me the creeps followed by a feeling of emptiness in me. After 9 it was us who watched the news and saw the second plane crashing into the other tower. We were not even surprised… But in each of us the question arose: what now?? Aircraft were still coming and going at Ferihegy airport but the news spread like wildfire and was soon everywhere. With this, a new chapter was opened in the life of the airport. A very dark chapter.

The years since have convinced me that the whole story was not what we at first thought it was, or rather how others tried to make us see it. I have been to the part of the world where they thought the enemy was hiding and getting to know the people there, I started having my doubts. I am afraid that behind this whole horrible event one will find capitalist interests and the push for world hegemony. What better proof do you need than the fact that since the change of leadership in the US, there are far fewer terrorist acts in the world.

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Author of book on Wright Brothers’ flight school will speak also at YOUR event

On 26/05/2010, in Bookshelf, by steve

Dr. J. H. Williams, author

Everyone knows the Wright Brothers spent some quality time in North Carolina and Ohio. But few people know they spent an important semester in Alabama.

In 1910, Wilbur came South, looking for a place to start the nation’s first civilian flying school. In January of 1910, the Wrights’ patents had grounded all airplanes in the nation other than their own. The only Wright Flyer actually in the air was in San Antonio, where U.S. Army officers were learning to fly the one airplane that the government had rather reluctantly bought.

However, the Wright Brothers hoped to sell airplanes to wealthy society sportsmen (aviation was a sport back then), and aside from the military officers in San Antonio, the only people who could fly a Wright airplane in the United States were the Wrights themselves. Unless they wanted to teach all the wealthy sportsmen, they’d have to teach young men to fly so that they, in turn, could teach the buyers of airplanes to fly. Dayton was far too cold in the winter to hold such a school, so Wilbur went South. He finally found a receptive city in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Shanwick Oceanic 5 minute longitudinal separation trial starts

On 24/05/2010, in SKYbrary News, by steve

News from EUROCONTROL’s aviation safety knowledge base SKYbrary.

On 25 May 2010, a trial of a 5 minute along track longitudinal separation minimum will commence in the Shanwick OCA. To participate in the Trial and subsequent full implementation, operators will be required to have an ADS-C log-on with Shanwick, possess MNPS approval and utilise CPDLC communications. Initially, the trial will only involve eastbound aircraft.

Read the full Aeronautical Circular here.

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Station calling – Visiting the Budapest Airport Hotel, your home away from home

On 23/05/2010, in Station calling, by steve

Hotels serving airports tend to be either dreary or expensive or both and all too often they do not much care about their guests who are in transit and are unlikely to become regulars anyway. One can find good examples of how it can and should be done at the several hotels around Brussels airport and we have now found one that really excels 5 minutes from Budapest Ferihegy airport.

Welcome to the Airport Hotel Budapest.

Jump on their shuttle bus (which you can even pre-order to meet your flight) and you will be taken through an industrial park still being developed near the airport and passing by Hungarian low fare airline Wizzair’s headquarters, you arrive at the hotel after a ride of about five minutes.

The house opened in July 2008 and it looks brand new inside and out. The surroundings could do with a bit of landscaping but that will surely come. Inside you enter a pleasantly appointed, atrium-style lobby with the front desk facing the restaurant. Off to the left is a nice little cafeteria.

Even if you only stay for one night, the restaurant will play an important role in your sojourn. First of all, it is open 24 hours a day! No matter how late you arrive or how early you rise because of jet-lag, a tasty meal is available at all hours of the day and the night. How many big name hotels can boast this kind of service?

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The tower with a soul… 15.

On 21/05/2010, in The tower with a soul, by lajos

Exciting times and more progress

The first decade after the change of the political system in Hungary brought home the realization that Hungarians had a peculiar interpretation of democracy. Instead of making use of opportunities, they immediately started abusing them. They interpreted freedom as being a license to do anything with laws being just a necessary evil which one did not have to observe but rather find cracks to avoid them. Slowly but surely the country slipped into a chaotic state and Ferihegy airport was no different.

Each of the specialized services gained a lot of independence and they started to issue their own rules and procedures, most of which were of course in contradiction with what the others were doing. This was the reason why the tower also had to start negotiations with the other services and to develop common positions and provisions. Obviously, this was far too much work for a single tower boss and so the Aerodrome Control Centre was established under the leadership of SP. This unit incorporated the tower division, the met observer division and the engineering division. The tower division had its own boss in the person of GC. So it was SP and GC who started the negotiations at the end of 2000 with the other services, including the ramp and the airport coordination service.

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Report on the Buffalo crash of 12 February 2009

On 20/05/2010, in SKYbrary News, by steve

News from EUROCONTROL’s aviation safety knowledge base SKYbrary

On 12 February 2009, a Bombardier DHC-8-400 on an ILS approach to KBUF crashed after the pilot flying lost control of the aircraft.

The NTSB investigation determined that “the probable cause of this accident was the captain’s inappropriate response to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which the airplane did not recover.”

A total of 24 new Safety Recommendations were made in the Report.

Read the full report here.

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