Causes of Push-Back-Delays in the courtyards of Frankfurt Airport

On 29/02/2012, in CDM, by andre

The Lufthansa flight to Miami leaving from Frankfurt Airport’s terminal 1 – area A/B has been delayed. The flight has not received permission to get rolled onto the runway by the push back vehicles because a plane leaving for Rome just left its gate 10 minutes late and another plane arriving from Berlin needs to be brought into its proper position first. This scenario unfortunately happens remarkably often at these terminal areas for various reasons. These delays, known as Push-Back-Delays, have an immense influence on the punctuality of flights at Deutsche Lufthansa AG the head carrier at the airport of Frankfurt.

The analysis of these dependencies was the subject of Patrick Hünleins’ final paper. In cooperation with the Department of Materials Handling and Logistics Systems of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the punctuality management team of the Frankfurt Division of Lufthansa AG, Patrick Hünlein determined the causes of these frequent Push-Back delays at the terminal area A/B. Based on his conclusions it was possible to create a new way to reduce the delays.

On average, 350 Lufthansa operated flights depart daily from Frankfurt Airport. Approximately 20-25% of these departures leave from terminal area A/B. In 2008, 3.2 % of the total delayed minutes attributable to Lufthansa AG were caused by Push-Back-Delays in this area. At first this percentage seems small but if you consider that a mere 1 % reduction in delayed minutes causes a huge improvement in air traffic efficiency and prevents cost overruns it is worth studying the underlying causes for this kind of delay.

Put simply, a Push-Back-Delay happens as soon as an airplane is ready for departure but cannot leave its parking position because another plane is operating in the area needed. The accurate determination of the reasons that cause this blockade situation first requires an analysis of the “real system airport”.

Figure 1. Airbus 320 leaving the inner courtyard between Terminal A and B

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English in the Aviation Sector: Languagelab.com and Emery-Roberts tackle the problem head on

On 27/02/2012, in Just to let you know..., by steve

See special offer for Roger-Wilco readers at the end of this article.

Following several high-profile accidents, multiple incidents and near-misses as a result of inadequate language proficiency, ICAO has set a minimum level of English for all pilots and air traffic controllers providing services to international flights. In response, many online language learning tools have materialised offering ICAO level 4 training.

Most of these courses offer the traditional learning combination of writing practice and conversation practice with an English teacher. However, one company has taken a totally different approach to the learning process. Languagelab.com, in partnership with Emery-Roberts, have created a ground-breaking virtual learning product, Aviation English Live.

Aviation English Live immerses its students in real-life situations in Languagelab’s virtual English City. Learners access the platform through a computer, using a headset and microphone to interact with teachers and other students live and in real time. All teachers are qualified teachers with ELT and aviation experience and classes are held at the airport within the virtual English City. By using experienced pilots and air traffic controllers to teach the non-routine scenario situations, students have the advantage of first hand knowledge and experiences of many air traffic incidents and situations.

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Satellite-based landing system certified – GBAS debut at Bremen Airport

On 24/02/2012, in Satellite Navigation, by steve

The satellite-based precision approach system GBAS (Ground Based Augmentation System) has received the German type certification as a primary landing system by the Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BAF) and may be used independently of the instrument landing system (ILS) which has been is use for decades for instrument flights.

Greeting the Air Berlin crew that flew the first regular Cat I approach using GBAS

At Bremen Airport, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung will be the first air navigation service provider in the world to operate GBAS for CAT I precision approaches for regular air services. GBAS provides digital guidance for precision approaches using a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS). The system boosts the accuracy and integrity of GPS by transmitting corrections to the aircraft. Currently, GBAS is being installed at airports as a supplement to ILS. In the future, GBAS will replace ILS when all aircraft are equipped with the appropriate on-board receivers.

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AOPA Shanghai International General Aviation Show – 28-30 August 2012, Shanghai, China

On 24/02/2012, in Events, by steve

AOPA China will be hosting the 2012 Shanghai International General Aviation Show which will be held at the Shanghai World Exhibition and Convention Center.

This is a great occasion to join hands in humankind’s great dream of flying and experience first-hand the world of aviation which is full of science, technology, passion and amusement.

Just like the automobile industry of the latter part of the last century, today’s Chinese general aviation industry is full of vigor and business opportunities. With substantial support from the macro-policy of the Chinese government, gradual opening and reform of low-altitude airspace and 30-year sustainable growth of China’s economy, the general aviation industry is meeting with a golden opportunity for development, producing a huge market demand of hundreds of billions of dollars in the next ten years.

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SESAR Interview – A Roger-Wilco Exclusive

On 23/02/2012, in SESAR's Palace, by steve

For the second year now, as part of the preparations for ATC Global in Amsterdam, Roger-Wilco editor Steve Zerkowitz has been granted an exclusive interview with an officer of SESAR. This time he talked with the JU’s Michael Standar, Chief Strategies and International Relations about the achievements and challenges of the SESAR Program.

Last year everyone was waiting for the details of Release 1. How far have the aims been achieved? Are there any problems? What is the impact on SESAR as a whole?

When the first list of potential Release 1 validation exercises was developed, it was fairly long.… Together with the members, we scrutinized each project as to its true potential of being ready for industrialization. These iterations resulted in a final approved Release 1 set of exercises with content deemed ready for real world validation. Even though this being a bottom-up process I believe through this process we did reach the aims set out for Release 1.

Of course one must also remember that Release 1, important as it is, primarily focusing on mature areas to prove industrialization readiness and not the whole Program; as such Release 1 was certainly a success within its limits.

In this context the “story” of IP1 is worth being mentioned. There too a number of the original IP1 OIs needed more SESAR R&D. Some people might say that a lot of the IP1 content included solutions that had been developed earlier. This is correct, but they nevertheless lacked a true validation in a real life environment with the necessary analysis and with the relevant stakeholder involvement. Another thing we had to realize was the need to approach the new features on an iterative basis. This is the best way to progress towards maturity. Take Initial 4D for instance. We will have three iterations starting in 2011 and then continuing in 2012 and 2013. These fit well with the target dates of the Master Plan also.

Another element of the Program that is an important candidate for iterative development is the remote tower concept. An excellent idea and something that is eminently feasible but in order to have a deployable product, we will have to go through a number of iterations to reach full maturity.

We have also seen that there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. The iterations do allow us to define the best fits for different environments while staying fully within the original spiral of development. This is a very cost effective approach to the development of the elements of a complex system like ATM.

In the meantime, Release 2 is on the table. What is the chief content? How is Release 2 progressing?

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Viewfinder View 8 – Things do contract in the cold

On 22/02/2012, in Viewfinder view, by steve

Flying at high altitude, this Airbus 330 wing shows clearly how material contracts and gets distorted in the extreme cold found there. Once back in the warmer air on descent, the same area was smooth as a baby’s bottom.

 

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FAA Approves Use of ARINC’s HFDL Network for Air Traffic Control Data Link Communications

On 20/02/2012, in Just to let you know..., by steve

Following a recent trial, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prepared the way for data link Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications over the global High Frequency Data Link (HFDL) network of ARINC Incorporated. The technology is known as FOH, an acronym for “FANS (Future Air Navigation System)1/A over HFDL.”

In a January 12 letter, the FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Margaret Gilligan, stated, “The FAA accepts FOH as a viable means of Air Traffic Service (ATS) communications,” and agrees that FOH “will provide an effective means of Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications and position reporting.”

The FAA decision means aircraft already using HFDL for long distance operational communications will eventually be capable of using the ARINC service to communicate with controllers as well.

Ron Hawkins, ARINC Vice President of Commercial Aviation Solutions, welcomes the FAA decision. “By adopting FOH for Air Traffic Control, both pilots and controllers will be able to reduce their workloads on and off the aircraft—all the while increasing safety by automating activities previously done with voice,” he states.

FOH data link provides an inexpensive global alternative to satellite-based global communications, and it is expected to be most beneficial in controlled Oceanic airspace such as the North Atlantic and Pacific flight routes. With the addition of FOH, ARINC offers the world’s broadest portfolio of aeronautical communication services.

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No Smell, No Taste, No Color – but Deadly. The dangers of CO are real.

On 19/02/2012, in Just to let you know..., by steve

Although Winter is coming to an end and with it the sad news about whole families dying of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning due to malfunctioning heating apparatus, the dangers of CO are anything but over.

Piston engines in cars and aircraft all produce CO and there have been cases in apartment houses and shopping centers where CO from the garage under the building seeped into the rest of the structure causing people to feel ill or even faint.

CO is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that attaches to hemoglobin, the red blood particles, several orders of magnitude stronger than oxygen does, effectively displacing life giving oxygen with carbon monoxide and starving the brain of oxygen. CO stays in the blood and oxygen no longer has a chance. Neither do you.

Worst of all, you do not notice the danger until it is almost too late. A headache, nausea are the first warning signs but by the time these appear, you may find it hard to find a place with more oxygen.

Some people have CO monitors installed in their house but what about your car or cockpit? A faulty exhaust system can, and did, result in CO poisoning in the confines of cars and cockpits. So what is the solution?

You do not need bulky equipment or mains power to be protected all the time, everywhere.

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Manual on Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment (FF-ICE)

On 19/02/2012, in SWIM, by steve

It is recognized that the air transport industry plays a major role in world economic activity and to maintain a safe, secure efficient and environmentally sustainable air navigation system at global, regional and local levels, it is required the implementation of an air traffic management (ATM) system that allows maximum use to be made of enhanced capabilities provided by technical advances.
The realization of the vision for the future ATM requires an environment with significant information content and collaboration.

The purpose of this Manual is to present a concept for the Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment (FF-ICE) to be implemented during the time frame through 2025. The document has been developed with particular attention to the objective of achieving the vision outlined in the Global Air Traffic Management Operational Concept (Doc 9854), with requirements outlined in the Manual on Air Traffic Management System Requirements (Doc 9882).

FF-ICE illustrates information for flow management, flight planning, and trajectory management associated to the ATM operational components. It will be used by the ATM community, as the basis from which ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) will be developed, in order to ensure that the FF-ICE Concept can be implemented globally in a consistent way.

Comments on this manual would be appreciated from all parties involved in the development and implementation of FF-ICE. These comments should be addressed to:

The Secretary General
International Civil Aviation Organization
999 University Street
Montréal, Quebec, Canada H3C 5H7

Get your copy here.

Read my earlier article on FF-ICE here.

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GPR – What is This?

On 15/02/2012, in Life around runways, by steve

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) as Applied to Airport Runway Maintenance

IRIS-5 Vehicle

Airport maintenance and engineering groups face many challenges in maintaining their runway pavements. In addition to routine maintenance and rehabilitation, the increased use of larger aircraft and runway expansions, in combination with limited budgets, have necessitated the requirement for a cost effective means of accurately assessing pavement conditions in order to meet these new needs.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has long been an effective tool for the evaluation of highway pavement and bridge deck structures, however, it can also provide much needed information on the physical condition of airport runway pavement, both in a rapid and cost effective manner. Penetradar’s GPR systems can accurately and nondestructively “see” through solid pavement materials, such as asphalt, concrete and soil to detect subsurface anomalies and determine the condition and thickness of the material examined. GPR surveys can be done during the day or night, allowing for flexibility in scheduling.

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