US airlines to tap into network data

US carriers will now able to act on network status snapshots in a bid to make airline operations more efficient.

Airline industry group IATA – the International Air Transport Association – said it has established a Liaison Desk at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Command Centre in Northern Virginia and has now gone live with the IATA Tactical Operations Portal (ITOP), a web platform for collaborative, tactical air traffic management, supporting the desk.

“These two programmes will allow us to be the eyes and ears for your airlines, keeping them abreast of developments that will affect them – and you – and helping to coordinate work-outs that minimise impact on operations,” said IATA chief Tony Tyler, addressing the annual meeting of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) in Dublin on April 12.

A workout is triggered by an event such as an airway being closed by weather, or an airport shutdown due to a VIP landing or takeoff, for example and aim to waste the minimum amount of time and fuel and inconvenience the least aircraft.

Tyler said the initiative was an exciting project conducted in cooperation with the FAA that will become even more valuable as the US air traffic modernisation programme termed NextGen is implemented

Speaking of the new initiative, Tyler said it would mirror IATA’s desk within Eurocontrol’s Central Flow Management Unit and that negotiations with the Chinese authorities to establish an equivalent position in their air traffic control unit were underway.

He added that IATA although positive about NextGen’s potential, its airline membership insisted on ensuring that the benefits will exceed the equipment and training costs before committing to spending billions of dollars on new cockpit technology.

* IATA says it is restructuring to better serve its airline members and stakeholders. Part of Tyler’s strategy review launched shortly after he assumed the position of director general and CEO in July 2011, the restructuring will avoid redundancies or downsizing of the organisation. IATA’s four externally-focused head office divisions will be re-organised into five in order to bring together activities sharing common stakeholders and focus. These include Safety and Flight Operations (SFO) which will handle all aspects of flying operations (including air traffic management) and safety (including auditing). It will be led by Guenther Matschnigg in a continuation of his current role as SVP of Safety Operations and Infrastructure.

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Posted in Airlines, News, NextGen

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