Merit

In the SESAR CEO Survey 2016 Air Traffic Management magazine has comprehensively surveyed the senior leadership within the European industry on SESAR deployment and the prospects for success.

The European Commission (EC) is launching its own awards for excellence in SESAR implementation. What do you consider to be the best example of a project that supports cross border ANS optimisation that is central to its success – and why?

Tanel Rautits, EANS I think a very good candidate is the Northern-European Functional Airspace Block (FAB) and Swedish/Danish FAB Free Route Airspace NEFRA project, which has been successfully implemented.

The NEFRA concept being now taken over by the Borealis Alliance and it will be expanded to over nine states. Such a broader approach will give us a harmonised and standardised FRA model and it is not built on the experience of only one or two states, but on nine states, so the cross-border effect is significant.

Ángel Luis Arias Serrano, ENAIRE In the world of deployment, where Flexible ASM and FRA has been identified as one of the main ATM functionalities to be deployed, the free route roadmap planned and already implemented by the SW (South West) FAB has to, undoubtedly, be considered for this merit award.

Currently, further to the implementation of the FRA project in the Lisbon Flight Information Region (FIR) in 2009 and its extension to Santiago-Asturias sectors in Spanish airspace in 2014, the SW FAB offers the largest FRA area in the ECAC area.

Beyond this successful implementation, it is planned that the area will spread over other European and third country airspace: FABEC, Casablanca (Morocco), Santa Maria Oceanic FIR where the opportunity to jointly collaborate for ensuring optimum use of airspace, irrespective of FAB boundaries, has been identified.

It is worth mentioning that the implementation of the FRA couldn’t have been achieved without the enduring collaboration between Spain and Portugal both in the AEFMP (Algeria, Spain, France, Morocco and Portugal), which laid in 1996 the foundations for ATM harmonisation and interoperability between these countries, and later in the SW FAB where the delegation of service provision between Spain and Portugal through the implementation of a new cross border boundary irrespective of national borders was achieved in 2012.

It must be acknowledged that this environment of confidence cannot but ensure the success of deployment.

Kornél Szepessy, HungaroControl I believe that all initiatives which aim for ANS optimisation beyond one service provider’s directly controlled airspace should be acknowledged and provides evidence that the ATM sector is willing to cooperate in achieving a greater common good.

Also, projects which show exceptional commitment and dedication, and which are pioneering change should be awarded. I consider projects like cross-border FRA projects or remote tower implementation as ideal examples.

Eamonn Brennan, IAA I would point to COOPANS again as it is the best example of a project that supports cross border ANS optimisation. COOPANS partners operate a world class, stable, safe and cost-effective ATM system. COOPANS is the leading example of industrial partnership in Europe. No other partnership or alliance in Europe is close to achieving the level of cooperation, cost-efficiency and system reliability that is demonstrated by COOPANS.

COOPANS has succeeded in delivering a fully harmonised ATM system across the five partners, establishing a single unified ATM system that uses common software and harmonised maintenance processes and operational concepts. COOPANS thereby enables the partners to cut their development costs through continuous upgrading of the ATM system. Through continuous upgrading the partners avoided the alternative, namely individual major and very costly ‘big bang’ ATM system migrations. This has been independently verified in a Value for Money report (2012) to achieve a saving of approximately 30 per cent of (large) capital expenditure for each member.

The common software platform is also facilitating advances in cooperative training through the Entry Point North training organisation.

Besides major savings for the partners, COOPANS meets the EU’s aim concerning harmonisation of ATM systems in Europe. The member ANSPs of the COOPANS Alliance, working with the ATM and CNS industry, has established a transversal deployment team to efficiently roll out the SESAR ATM Master Plan, PCP Implementing Rule and SESAR Deployment Programme.

COOPANS is ensuring lower cost for the airline customers and at the same time ensures 100 per cent compliance with implementing rules and international standards to ensure a safe, cost efficient and world-class modern ATM service.

2015 was a landmark year in particular for COOPANS as the partners proved they are able to roll-out an ATM system upgrade across seven area control centres from the five ANSPs within a two-week timeframe, without any operational impact on customers – no capacity restrictions or delays.

That is an example of a partnership based on real cooperation, which is delivering real results and well worthy of EC recognition.

Olle Sundin, LFV Borealis FRA. It is a successful co-operation between nine ANSPs together with nine regulators to achieve FRA with our customers in focus.

Another example of a successful co-operation is the large scale demonstration developing the next step in remote tower technology, a joint initiative between Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Martin Rolfe, NATS XMAN has been a classic example of cross-border and cross-FAB implementation of an initiative which is already delivering efficiency gains and has the potential to deliver many more.

Magda Jaworska, PANSA Projects that should be awarded are those which break longstanding habits and invite the prospect of change to the operational functioning of air traffic management.

In practice, the more work required on the operational and legal side, the more attention they deserve. Pure infrastructural projects are also important, but more as enablers.

We have made considerable progress in recent years in terms of our perception of what the European ATM system is, and how it should look like in the future. Real high-end value comes when you change both the rules and also the way of thinking.

Cârnu Fănică, ROMATSA We consider that the Deployment Programme itself and the activity of the SDM in its role as Framework Partnership Agreement Coordinator are examples of best practice that promote cross border ANS optimisation.

Thus, from the initial phases of the expression of interest to their execution, the specific implementation projects are centrally coordinated and synchronised.

Jan Klas, ANS CR From my point of view, it would be a project which could make effective use of the resources invested so far such as air-ground datalink within individual ANSPs, which was the result of a EC decision.

Anders Kirsebom, Avinor As a member of the Borealis Alliance we have an ongoing project of implementing FRA across three FABs including also Icelandic airspace. Phase I was implemented in November 2015 covering the airspace of the DK/SE and NEFAB FABs. Phase II will be finalised in 2020 when the airspace of UK/Ireland FAB and Iceland will be included in the Borealis FRA, and we can then offer our customers FRA starting from the Russian border to well within the North Atlantic region.

This is an excellent example of a project involving three FABs, and Iceland, achieving added value for our airspace users. The benefit for our customers will be reduced costs and FRA will also have a very positive impact on the environment.

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol It is too soon to indicate which project can be considered as a best example. Several proposals look very good on paper but still need to be proven in reality. Projects related to FRA implementation can be considered as best example due to their positive impact on flying time, fuel burn and CO2 emission.

Next to this, it is our opinion that also civil-military projects – in particular related to airspace optimisation – should be looked at as possible best examples. Despite the fact that these may not be cross border activities, they will increase the performance in a similar way as FRA implementation.

Georgi Peev, BULATSA Awards of excellence in SESAR implementation would most definitely be a source of inspiration for ANSPs and would set an additional basis for the exchange of best practices for developing new and improved technology.

We would be looking for the next thing to rapidly improve the management of the network looking east toward Turkey and the Middle East. We see the rate with which their fleets and airports are growing. All these flights must be ensured with safe and efficient pathways through our skies.

Dragan Bilać, Croatia Control I am sure that the most excellent example of the cross-border cooperation is the COOPANS. The five partners are cooperating on development and implementation of a common ATM system – the same system runs in five countries in seven area control centres.

Many benefits have been generated such as continuous system upgrades – avoiding big-bangs to minimise risks, a common platform and harmonised deployment, leading edge technology, lowering costs while delivering value for money by sharing savings of around 30 per cent, meeting SES requirements, etc.

Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, DFS Looking at the scope of the PCP, Arrival Management systems with an extended planning scope are an excellent example for cross-centre and cross-border optimisation.

Arrival Managers will become key solutions for the synchronisation of traffic as they increasingly enable the necessary network perspective while combining it with local constraints. Basic versions of arrival managers are already in operation, but the next generation will enable significant performance improvements.

 

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