One of Europe’s most modern Air Traffic Control Centres inaugurated in Budapest

On 27/02/2013, in ATC world, by steve

hc_logo_enThe new Hungarian air navigation centre was inaugurated in Budapest on 27 February 2013, bringing the complex investment programme of the Hungarian air navigation service provider to a conclusion. The high tech centre will further advance the air transport infrastructure of both Hungary and Central Europe as a whole, contributing to the continued competitiveness of the Hungarian air navigation services. The opening ceremony was held in the presence of representatives from the European Commission, EUROCONTROL, the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA) and the Hungarian government.

The project, called ANS III, is a key component of the complex development programme sponsored by HungaroControl to strengthen Air Traffic Management (ATM) efficiency and to ensure that the Hungarian air navigation service provider meets the European Union’s performance objectives.

It involved building a state of the art ATM control centre with the potential to implement cutting edge technologies and to provide efficient services to civil aviation. The European Union supported the project via its TEN-T Programme and with a €6 million grant managed through the TEN-T EA.

The new ATM centre is equipped with high quality innovative equipment and software, such as the MATIAS air navigation and communication system – recognised across the world and developed with the participation of Hungarocontrol, the Hungarian air navigation service provider (ANSP). The opening of ANS III provides the opportunity for HungaroControl to centralise its research and innovation efforts at a single location, thus creating a state-of-the-art air navigation research, development and simulation knowledge centre.

Click here to read the full article


TITAN extension – what is happening?

On 26/02/2013, in TITAN, by steve

As reported earlier, the TITAN project has been extended by three months and the extra time is being used to conduct additional dissemination activities. Among these, a more detailed video on the TITAN concept is being produced and a publication entitled TITAN The Book is being written. This latter takes the reader from the early days of collaborative decision making (CDM) through a description of the new air traffic management environment’s most important features to a description of the TITAN concept and its practical application. The style is more popular than scientific and the intention is to make CDM and TITAN related information in the wider sense of the word accessible also to readers not directly concerned with this particular field of air traffic management.

A series of workshops have also been organized in Munich, Cologne, Budapest, Milan and Brussels with the aim of helping the industry learn more about what TITAN is and what additional benefits it can bring to airports what have already implemented Airport CDM (A-CDM).

Watch this space for a report on the conclusions of the workshops and access to the news video and a link to download TITAN The Book.



SWIM – Live success at World ATM Congress

On 14/02/2013, in SWIM, by steve

During 3 closed-out demonstration sessions, SESAR partners met at World ATM Congress to demonstrate live the agility and flexibility System Wide Information Management (SWIM) can bring.

Now I understand what SWIM is all about”
“SWIM is becoming a reality”
“Excellent demonstration!”
“This demonstration has shown that with very little effort you can interconnect many different systems if you apply the SWIM principles”.

These are just a few quotes from enthusiastic participants at the SESAR SWIM demonstrations held in Madrid on 12 and 13 February 2013. Throughout 3 sessions gathering over 200 participants, the live demonstrations of SWIM, the intranet of the future, presented the collaborative decision making capabilities of the SWIM technical infrastructure. They tested its capacities of information sharing, service orientation, federation, open standards and information & service lifecycle management.

The demonstrations involved 10 different ATM organisations interconnecting 31 instances and successfully exchanging information on airspace, flights, airports and weather. They proved the benefits of SWIM and how its maturing prototypes are closer to deployment in the near future.
Once more, SESAR is bringing tangible, deployable solutions to the ATM world.

SESAR Members and associate members directly involved in the SWIM Demonstration include DSNA/Meteo France, ENAV/IDS, EUROCONTROL, Frequentis, Honeywell, Indra, NATMIG, NATS, NORACON, SELEX ES and Thales.

Click here for the full demonstration scenario.



A-CDM course delivered in Dubai

On 12/02/2013, in CDM, by steve

Our Airbus A340 had to be thoroughly de-iced before departure from Munich. Freezing rain was coating everything with a lethal sheet of ice and as I watched the vehicles moving around our aircraft as it almost disappeared in the steam rising from the wings and fuselage, I wondered whether the cherry-picker operators knew, or even cared, about the destination of this aircraft. After all, it was just one of the many departures from Munich that cold winter night.

It was different for me. BluSky Services had created the first Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) course for EUROCONTROL several years ago, followed by an updated version made for IATA a few years later. Our instructors had delivered this course all over the world and most A-CDM courses you find out there still have the structure and certain elements of our original work. However, this was the first time we would deliver such a course in Dubai.

The German company airsight was the contracting agent and I was traveling as director, implementation support for TotalCDM, a partner company focused on collaborative decision making in all its forms.

The course material had been updated and slightly restructured for the occasion, mainly to take account of the particular circumstances of the United Arab Emirates. Traffic demand is growing explosively in the region and flow management is practiced in a way reminiscent of Europe before the central flow management unit was established. Obviously, collaborative decision making both on the local airport level and even more on the network level is a particular challenge where air traffic control units and airports lack central coordination.

There were fifteen participants, representing Dubai Airports and Dubai Air Navigation Services with both engineering and operational folks among them. Although no airline or handling agent was represented, we tried to ensure that their particular viewpoints were adequately covered and discussed.

Click here to read the full article


PBN Comes to Belgium

On 08/02/2013, in Events, by steve

In Assembly Resolution A36-23 ICAO has prescribed the performance based navigation global goals, at the same time also urging its Member States to develop a PBN Implementation Strategy and Plan which is to guide relevant developments of the air navigation infrastructure of the Member States.

The Implementation Strategy for Belgium has been developed to fulfill this requirement.

It comprises two types of content:
• Explanatory and guidance material – such material does not have the force of law and serve only to help in understanding the PBN concept and practices;
• Regulatory material – such material has the force of law and compliance with it is mandatory. Acceptable means of compliance may also be provided as part of the regulatory material.

Following the recent publication of the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Implementation Strategy for the Kingdom of Belgium (PBNISB), the PBN Implementation Group will hold its first meeting on 19 February at the premises of the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority.

Interest in this meeting is very high. More than 50 people have registered, representing airports, ANSPs, airlines, general and business aviation and the avionics industry.

The meeting will set up a core group to develop with all speed the detailed implementation plan and corresponding deadlines so that actual implementation may start as soon possible.

Information will also be provided on how “seed-money” to kick-start implementation may be obtained in certain well defined cases.

Read Roger-Wilco to learn about the outcome of the meeting.


Performance Based Navigation (PBN) – What is this?

On 08/02/2013, in Buzzwords explained, by steve

Aircraft operators in some parts of the world have already begun to experience the benefits of area navigation (RNAV) and required navigation performance (RNP). These benefits include safer, more efficient operations, increased air traffic management capacity and improved access to certain parts of the airspace and difficult to approach aerodromes. Once aircraft are freed from the limitations of ground based navigation aids and transitioning to satellite based navigation, more flexible and optimized routings become possible, creating more direct routings, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.

Some of the definitions and concepts associated with RNAV and RNP as well as some RNP naming conventions were found to be inconsistent between various parts of the world, resulting in confusion among aircraft operators, manufacturers, regulators and air navigation service providers. This had a negative impact on the implementation of RNAV and RNP applications, slowing buy-in and increasing costs.

Performance Based Navigation (PBN) came into being as a result of collaboration between the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), industry, regulators and air navigation service providers to understand the issues leading to this confusion and to clarify and update the definitions and explanatory material about the RNAV and RNP concepts and applications. To ensure harmonization and consistency, the effort was applied to all areas of flight from oceanic and remote to en-route, terminal area and approach.

Click here to read the full article


A true story… Things are not always what they appear.

On 06/02/2013, in Battle stations, by steve

Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its  planes, forgetting that it was there long before they were… A  certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the  back. Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB  wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that  disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:

‘Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base:
Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at  precisely 9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over  Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500  feet.  Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need  this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyn’s early bird special?
Any response would be appreciated.

The response:

Regarding ‘A wake-up call from Luke’s jets’ On June 15, at precisely  9:12  a.m. , a perfectly timed four- ship fly by of F-1 6s from the 63rd  Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt.  Jeremy Fresques. Capt Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously  stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30,  Memorial Day.

Click here to read the full article


The pain of retrofit

On 05/02/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

Airspace users and the air traffic management network interact every day and the operation is usually pretty smooth. Of course nobody is happy when there are delays caused by air traffic control capacity constraints, but this is also part of the game. Increasing demand and competition for the same scarce resources, like runways, makes it almost inevitable that not everyone can fly as they have planned.

As a general rule, aircraft coming out of the factories of Airbus, Boeing and the other airframers have all the equipment on board to operate in any airspace of the world. There are occasions though when the ATM network introduces new requirements aimed at reducing delays, enhancing safety or some similar, recognized and accepted purpose. They have two options: either go for voluntary equipage or issue a mandate.

In theory, voluntary equipage should work when there is a compelling business case for the new feature and airlines will go for it on this basis. In theory. In practice even the best business case tends to bring differing results to different companies and even in sight of clear benefits, some outfits will still have different priorities and they decide not to equip… it is voluntary, after all. The problem here is that most ATM enhancements work only if a fairly large percentage of the affected aircraft population is equipped. If this threshold is not reached, the benefits fail to materialize and those who had taken the voluntary path end up having wasted their money.

A mandate is a different matter altogether. Here a date is set for new aircraft to have the required equipment on board ex-factory and another date, usually a little later, is set for older aircraft to comply with the mandate. The mandate has the force of law and it is generally hated by the airspace users. They much prefer voluntary equipage… But we know it does not work, so back to the mandates.

Click here to read the full article


TITAN extended by three months

On 01/02/2013, in TITAN, by steve

Although the TITAN project was to have ended in November 2012, we are now happy to announce that a three months extension was granted by the commission. The original aims had been reached on time and all the deliverables were completed, however, some of the originally agreed budget was still available and it was decided to use this money for additional dissemination activities.

Partners were asked to come up with innovative ideas and here is what is now being planned:

TITAN comes to you: under this heading, a number of workshops will be held on location (E.g Brussels, Budapest, Cologne), enabling CDM experts and other interested partners to learn about TITAN without having to travel themselves.

Articles and scientific papers: An article will be submitted to the Journal of Airport Management and a paper will be written for the ATM Seminar 2013.

TITAN The Book: In this little pocketbook, TITAN will be described in a popular and easy to read style, putting everything into the wider airport collaborative management (A-CDM) context and the future air traffic management environment. The intention is to create a small reference work that will be usable as guidance for A-CDM and TITAN implementation questions well beyond the lifetime of the TITAN project itself.

TITAN The Movie: Based on the original TITAN project video, a new movie will be created that covers the innovative features of TITAN in more detail. The service orientation, trajectory based operations and the like will be explained showing how these features apply to TITAN.


Quote of February 2013

On 01/02/2013, in Quote of the month, by steve


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