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.

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Jeppesen-Designed Arrival Procedures to Bring Efficiencies of Performance Based Navigation to Denver International Airport

On 28/11/2012, in PBN, by steve

RNAV RNP arrivals designed by Jeppesen in concert with Denver International Airport, FAA and other stakeholders to improve flow of arrival traffic, reduce pilot and controller workload and lessen  aircraft environmental impact.

Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Flight Services, has collaborated with Denver International Airport (DEN), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other stakeholders to design and deliver RNAV RNP (area navigation with required navigation performance) based arrivals for DEN. The collaboration brings the benefits of Performance Based Navigation – increased runway throughput; reductions in aircraft fuel burn, greenhouse gas emissions and minimized noise footprints – to the Denver area.

Performance Based Navigation is the foundation of the FAA’s NextGen modernization program, Europe’s SESAR programs and other future air traffic management concepts, which will alleviate much of today’s delays on the ground and in the air. Working with DEN, the FAA, airlines and others, including authorities from Centennial Airport and Rocky Mountain Regional Airport, Jeppesen has designed new arrival procedures that will expedite the flow of traffic arriving at DEN. The new procedures reduce pilot and controller workload and increase aircraft operational efficiency, while at the same time make DEN more neighbor-friendly.

Click here to read the full article

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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?

Click here to read the full article

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Airbus to support FAA Greener Skies Initiative with ATM expertise

On 25/11/2011, in Environment - Without hot air, by steve

Airbus has been selected to provide Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Performance Based Navigation (PBN) expertise for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Greener Skies Initiative. As part of Boeing’s FAA System Engineering 2020 (SE-2020) team, Airbus will identify procedures which fully utilize aircraft precision navigation capabilities to reduce fuel burn, lower emissions and decrease noise.

The Greener Skies initiative seeks to improve ATM efficiency and to minimize the environmental impact on the ground and in the air through the expanded use of PBN including Required Navigation Performance (RNP), area navigation (RNAV), and Optimized Profile Descents (OPD).

The industry consortium includes Adacel, Airbus, Boeing, Cessna and Honeywell, and is tasked with establishing methods for the full implementation of PBN by utilizing advanced flight deck and Air Traffic Control (ATC) capabilities while analyzing new policies and procedures. Airbus subsidiary Quovadis will provide PBN consultancy and implementation expertise for the initiative. Seattle will be used as a key site to enable these initial advanced operational capabilities to be introduced into the US National Airspace System (NAS). Click here to read the full article

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Outdated Mentality Slows ATM Progress

On 07/11/2011, in Viewpoint, by steve

I am sure Jane’s Airport Review will forgive me for picking the title of one of their articles but it was so stunning, I could not resist the temptation.

It looks like October was a month of bad news from the world of ATM and I am starting to get a terrible feeling of déjà vu… again.

Back in the times of EATCHIP and ATM2000+ meeting after meeting we were banging the tables, telling anyone who would listen that air traffic management modernization was not rocket science, the technology aspect was almost a no-brainer compared to the kind of cultural change that was necessary on the part of all stakeholders but from ANSPs and airlines most of all, if we were to get anywhere.

When EATCHIP was faltering, ATM2000+ came along and this latter was even signed off by the ECAC Ministers of Transport and what happened? Nothing… or anyway very little compared to the lofty aims defined originally. After a few horrible summers, it was 9/11 and the ensuing economic slump that saved the day. The ATM system would have collapsed had the 5 % year on year traffic demand increase actually materialize.

Then NextGen in the US and the Single European Sky and SESAR in Europe came along. This time it was going to be different… We are well into those programs and here is what we have learned in this black October of the year 2011.

As reported in Aviation Week, the FAA’s En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) is turning into a major embarrassment. It is four years late and may in fact slip by another two years while the cost is already 330 million bucks over the original budget and it may go to 500 million… ERAM is an essential step in getting NextGen operational, even if ERAM itself is not a NextGen element as such.

Click here to read the full article

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The misunderstanding of the decade or sloppy terminology?

On 15/06/2011, in Buzzwords explained, by steve

Buzzwords are powerful things. They can be dropped in speeches and writing almost at random and the casual audience or reader will be suitably impressed. Luckily they seldom bother to ask the author for an explanation of his favorite buzzwords… Our little air traffic management world of to-day has lots of buzzwords but my all time favorite is “performance based”.

Just about everything is performance based these days but I have yet to see a truly convincing definition of what this really means in the ATM context. Mind you, Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is something else again and it does actually have a meaning.

In the SESAR definition phase already we had things like the performance partnership and the performance framework being put forward as the basis of the improved ATM system even if it was still hard to get a good explanation of what was meant by it all…

More recently however buzzworditis mutated into a new and rather disturbing variety while elevating itself to the highest level of the SESAR implementation plan.

Reading the corresponding text we learn that SESASR is progressing from time based operations to trajectory based operations to, eureka, performance based operations!

So what is wrong with this picture?

Click here to read the full article

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BluSky Services and Holland Aviation Consultancy & Engineering (HACE) team up to develop advanced e-training courses

On 13/06/2011, in Training world, by steve

The importance of training in aviation cannot be over emphasized. This has been amply demonstrated by recent events, including the Air France A330 crash and the A380 taxi incident, in both of which pilot training issues have been identified as important contributory factors.

But the need for quality training extends way beyond pilots and air traffic controllers. People working on all levels and in all aviation disciplines must be able to supplement their basic training and skills with new knowledge constantly being generated in this fast moving industry.

Training is an expensive affair. The courses themselves tend to have a steep price and having people travel to the course location incurs additional expenses. Temporary absence from the workplace must also be accounted for. With company budgets under stress everywhere, managers are often forced to axe all but essential training. Of course the line between essential and nice to have is not always easy to identify and missing out on important new knowledge happens before we know it.

However, modern technology is here to help. Enter the Advanced E-training Courses being offered in air traffic management by the HACE/BluSky Services partnership. These two companies bring together several years’ worth of expertise in air traffic management and e-learning to offer a wide range of courses at a very reasonable price.

Whether you are an individual wishing to expand your horizons or a company with a need to bring its personnel up to speed on certain subjects, e-learning provides a cost-effective and convenient way to acquire the knowledge you seek. In all cases, the total cost is a fraction of what an equivalent classroom course would require in terms of time and money.

Click here to read the full article

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Performance Based Navigation (PBN) – Why the “N” should be an “O”

On 11/03/2010, in Buzzwords explained, by steve

The abbreviations game

In aviation we seem to be creating abbreviations at a rate that raises the specter of our grandchildren not having any usable combinations left any more. This remark from a well respected colleague of mine who used to work for UPS airlines does in fact indicate a few problems that go beyond the scarcity of available unique letter combinations and which, as we will see, affect our daily work in all kinds of unexpected ways.

This is not aviation CNS...

Consider the well known CNS formation which, we all know, stands for Communications, Navigation and Surveillance. Whoever came up with the abbreviation CNS probably had no idea how much damage their invention would cause in air traffic management by perpetuating the kind of silo mentality that keeps many organizations hopelessly divided and some experts retreating into their respective ivory towers.

If at least the inventors had the good sense of putting those letters into some kind of logical order, like history, which would have given us NCS… We did navigate first (as in trying to find our way by reading the names of train stations and flying along highways), then communicated, initially with lights and hand signals and later via radio and most recently we do surveillance also. Not that NCS would have been any better at driving the silo mentality from the face of the earth.

Of course in the old days there was some logic in looking at navigating and communicating as something totally different from each other. You trained for one or the other, aircraft carried separate navigators and radio operators and when radar came along, the wizards of that kit were a completely new breed yet again. It was only logical also that separate fiefdoms should grow up along the letters NCS with hardly any horizontal contact between them. That they should fiercely protect their respective domains was perfectly natural…

Click here to read the full article

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What is wrong with Performance Based Navigation (PBN)?

On 14/12/2009, in Viewpoint, by steve

Exactly one third, that is what! The P is ok, the B is ok but the N? That is what is wrong and in a big way too! Let me explain.

navigatorRecently we had a very successful workshop on PBN and the agenda included a presentation on modern surveillance techniques and another one on cost-benefit analyses tailored to performance based systems. It was soon clear that several experts (mostly outside the workshop) thought that the surveillance presentation was out of place in a meeting on PBN. After all, PBN is dealing with navigation and not surveillance.

There you go, the good old silo mentality again! Thou shall not mix things from different silos!

Do a local reality check. How is your organization set up? Do you have separate departments for navigation, surveillance and communications? Ask someone from surv or com what PBN stands for… Are you getting the picture?

Click here to read the full article

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NCS – What? Not CNS?!

On 22/11/2009, in Viewpoint, by steve

navigatorWhoever came up with the abbreviation CNS (a.k.a. Communications/Navigation/Surveillance) probably had no idea how much damage their invention would cause in air traffic management by perpetuating the kind of silo mentality that keeps many organizations hopelessly divided and experts retreating into their respective ivory towers.

If at least the inventors had the good sense of putting their beloved letters into some kind of logical order, like history, which would have given us NCS… We did navigate first (as in trying to find our way by reading the names of train stations and flying along highways), then communicated at first with lights and hand signals and later via radio and more recently we do surveillance. Not that NCS would have been any better at driving the silo mentality from the face of the earth.

Of course in the old days there was some logic in looking at navigating and communicating as something totally different from each other. You trained for one or the other, aircraft carried separate navigators and radio operators and when radar came along, the wizards of that kit were a completely new breed yet again. It was only logical also that separate fiefdoms should grow up along the letters NCS with hardly any horizontal contact between them. That they should fiercely protect their respective domains was perfectly natural…

Click here to read the full article

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