Air Traffic Management STRATEGY, TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT FOR THE WORLD'S MOST GLOBAL INDUSTRY Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:52:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fourth Centralised Service issued for tender Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:52:10 +0000 More ››]]> Eurocontrol has published a Call for Tenders for a fourth Centralised Service, the Management of Common Network Resources Service/Mode S Interrogator Code Allocation (MICA) – CS6-2.

The Eurocontrol MICA service allocates geographical coverage and interoperable Interrogator Codes to all mode-S radars, both civil and military in the ICAO European and Middle East regions.

The CS6-2 service supports the Eurocontrol MICA service by maintaining/enhancing and hosting the MICA Website which is used by stakeholders as the main interface to the system, and by maintaining the MICA tools which are used to allocate Interrogator Code to Mode S Interrogators.

Herman Baret, Centralised Services programme manager at Eurocontrol, says: “Due to the limited number of Interrogator Codes, it is necessary to have a centralised Interrogator Code allocation system to underpin optimised allocation and a safe operation.”

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Part 173 certification for GroupEAD in PNG Fri, 23 Jan 2015 09:30:37 +0000 More ››]]> AIM and navigation service provider GroupEAD has been awarded Part 173 certification for its ongoing procedure design work in Papua New Guinea.

GroupEAD, through joint venture partner Airways New Zealand, has been operating in the Pacific country for several years where significant work has been delivered in the Highlands providing airspace guidance and developing instrument procedures.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Papua New Guinea awarded Part 173 certification to GroupEAD this month, providing operators with the confidence required to award contracts. This certification, which authorises GroupEAD to design air navigation procedures, also enables them to provide ongoing support for the Komo and Tari aerodromes.

GroupEAD Asia Pacific CEO Wayne Smith says the certification is an important step in validating GroupEAD’s commitment to the Asia Pacific region.

“There is a significant amount of aerodrome development work underway in Papua New Guinea at the moment and we are pleased the Papua New Guinea CASA has endorsed the work we’re doing. This work compliments Airways’ role in maintaining navigation aids and carrying out flight inspection work, creating efficiencies and improving safety,” he says.

“We look forward to continuing to support the region’s economic and tourism development into the future.”

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Collaborate on airspace congestion: UAE Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:36:10 +0000 More ››]]> The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is urging civil aviation authorities in the region to co-operate more to prevent airspace congestion.

The congestion, which is considered to be the principal challenge facing the region’s growth opportunities, was discussed during the Future Air Transportation Summit, FATSS, held earlier this week in Dubai.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA, said: “The GCC countries’ congested skies are expecting an annual growth of 6% in air traffic movements in the coming few years. To manage this efficiently, we are looking at different and creative approaches to collaborate and find effective solutions together. Technology and modern innovations are key factors, together with regional cooperation.”

The GCAA chief expressed his confidence that the GCC countries will succeed in overcoming this challenge, as it brings overwhelming opportunities for the local and regional civil aviation landscape.

“The UAE GCAA has always promoted and valued global collaboration through effective partnerships with regional and international organisations and to secure the best results of our investments, a close collaboration with the industry’s partners, customers and suppliers is extremely important.”

Omar Bin Ghaleb, Deputy Director General of the GCAA, who made the welcoming speech on behalf of Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, said: “The UAE has witnessed rapid traffic growth that necessitates immediate attention and commitment to ensure safe and efficient air traffic operations. As a result, various projects have been launched to enhance air traffic capacity covering both the airports and the airspace. It is a must that we steer our focus and investments towards enhancing the airspace infrastructure and modernising our ANS systems and new technologies.”

He called air navigation providers and airways management teams to come up with modern technology and logistic innovation that would help in successfully facing the current challenge.

Endorsed and hosted by the GCAA, the Future Air Transportation Systems Summit was held alongside a meeting of the ICAO Middle East Airspace Enhancement Programme, MAEP, which brought together the C-level executives, senior decision makers and government officials responsible for airspace management, air traffic control, avionic systems and airfield operations.

Ahmed Al Jallaf, Executive Director of Air Navigation Services at the GCAA, emphasised the crucial role that civil aviation plays in sustaining economic growth globally, as over 60 million people have direct jobs in aviation industry worldwide.

Al Jallaf disclosed during the second panel discussion on Sunday that the air traffic movements in the UAE, at around 2,200 daily movements today, is expected to reach 5,100 movements every day by 2030, if current growth rates are maintained.

He added that the civil aviation authorities in the Middle East need to amend the conception of partnership and teamwork to reach a position where they can benefit from the promising opportunities in the civil aviation industry, which would reflect on their national economies,

He pointed to the work of the ICAO Middle East Airspace Enhancement Programme (MAEP) which targets the partnering of regional countries for maximising capturing opportunities and widening air traffic movement between those countries.

He said a meeting scheduled this wek will discuss a number of projects that aim to facilitate the air movement between countries of the region, hoping that participating countries to show the required commitment, and provide necessary resources to make the proposed ideas viable.

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Airports support 4.1% of European GDP Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:03:39 +0000 More ››]]> European airports generate €675 billion of income for the region, according to a new independent study by airports body ACI Europe.

The Economic Impact of European Airports report which looks at the significant indirect, induced and catalytic impacts of airport activities, estimated that airports contribute to the employment of 12.3 million people earning €365 billion in income annually. Overall, they generate €675 billion of GDP each year – accounting for 4.1% of GDP in Europe.

ACI Europe said what sets airports and their associated aviation partners (airlines, ground handlers, retailers, air traffic control, etc) apart from most other sectors is their ability to facilitate and generate wider economic activities.

“This specific ability boosts overall national and European economic performance – reflecting the role of air connectivity in delivering increased trade, greater investments, more tourism activity and better productivity overall,” it said.

Arnaud Feist, president of ACI EUROPE and CEO of Brussels airport said “With the European Commission now conducting a review of aviation policy and preparing a new Aviation Package, there is a need to better explain and substantiate the crucial role of air connectivity – and its interactions with the economy. That is what this study is about. The figures on airports’ contribution to jobs and GDP are impressive.”

“They clearly show that airports and their associated aviation partners are not just providing a service to other industries and the travelling public – but that they are in fact a key driver and facilitator of economic growth and prosperity in today’s globalised world. While economic growth naturally supports air connectivity, increased air connectivity also supports wider economic growth. For every 10% increase in a country’s air connectivity, GDP per capita is lifted by 0.5%.”

He added “But this study also looks ahead and highlights the need to secure the potential future contribution of Europe’s airports to the economy. Assessing the impact of the looming airport capacity crunch which has been widely documented by Eurocontrol, the study shows that if airports are not allowed to expand in line with future demand, Europe will lose the opportunity to create 2 million jobs and will forego €97 billion in economic activity each year by 2035.”

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AirAsia QZ8501 climbed ‘beyond normal’ speed Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:57:41 +0000 More ››]]> AirAsia Flight QZ8501 which crashed last month in the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board, climbed too fast before stalling, according to Indonesia’s transport minister.

Ignasius Jonan told a parliamentary hearing in Jakarta that Flight 8501 which was en route from Surabaya to Singapore had ascended at a speed of 6,000ft (1,828m) per minute adding that not even a fighter jet would attempt to climb so fast.

The Airbus A320-200 aircraft turned left away from its assigned flight path en route from Surabaya to Singapore, climbed over 8,000 feet per minute, descended and finally disappeared within three minutes, Jonan said, citing data from the aircraft’s automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, or ADS–B, system.

The normal rate of climb of an A320 aircraft is between 1,000 feet per minute and 1,200 feet per minute.

One expert tells Air Traffic Management: “Based on what the Indonesian transport minister said today, the loss of control sounds similar to Air France Flight 447 where the pilot climbed the aircraft and stalled it out of the sky – although there’s no evidence of icing so far.”

Flight 447 was an Airbus 330 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris that plummeted 38,000 feet in 3 minutes and 30 seconds and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. In that case, pilots responded to a stall, induced by inconsistencies between the airspeed measurements likely due to pitot tubes being obstructed by ice, by pulling the nose up instead of pushing it down to attempt a recover.

Investigators are expected to submit a preliminary report to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) early next week. Under ICAO regulations, the preliminary report must be filed within 30 days of the date of the accident.

“One month after the accident we will just make a preliminary report. No comment and no analysis,” Tatang Kurniadi, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Committee, told reporters. “This will not be exposed to the public. This is for the consumption of those countries that are involved.”

Flightglobal operations and safety editor David Learmount said now that Indonesian accident investigators have formally stated they will not publish a preliminary factual report about flight QZ8501, it could be up to two years before operators know whether French air accident investigators’ concerns over AF447 are reflected in this case.

“There have been three other accidents in the last 10 years that merit comparison with the flight QZ8501 incident over the Java Sea,” said Learmount. “These four accidents all took place during cruise in tropical/subtropical zones, and in all cases the crews were manoeuvring to avoid bad weather. In all four cases control was lost, and none of the crews made an emergency call.”


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EASA makes senior management changes Tue, 20 Jan 2015 16:30:16 +0000 More ››]]> The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has made three key management changes following the new organisation structure drawn up by its executive director Patrick Ky and announced in September.

Luc Tytgat has been appointed by the EASA Management Board as director of the newly created strategy and safety management directorate. In this role, Luc Tytgat will be in charge of raising safety intelligence as one of EASA’s key priorities and developing a better and more agile regulatory framework. Prior to EASA, Luc Tytgat was the director of the pan-European Single Sky directorate at Eurocontrol since 2011, after having worked for 20 years in the field of air transport and space at the European Commission and 10 years in the Belgian Air Force.

Olivier Ramsayer has been appointed by the EASA Management Board as the new resources and support director. In this role, Olivier Ramsayer will be in charge of simplifying, raising the efficiency and flexibility of EASA support services. Prior to EASA, Olivier Ramsayer was head of the resources and support department at the European Food Safety Authority, after different managerial positions in the EU institutions.

Trevor Woods, currently flight standards director at EASA, will replace Norbert Lohl as certification director. In this role, Trevor Woods will address the new challenges faced by the agency in the evolution of technologies and constraints on resources in the certification domain. Norbert Lohl will be retiring at the end of February 2015.

Wilfried Schulze, deputy director, will be acting as flight standards director.

Patrick Ky said: “The new organisation shapes EASA for the next decade. The management team is focused on one objective: develop, for the benefit of travelling passengers, the safest possible aviation regulatory system, in partnership with the European Commission and the Member States and in support of the growth of the aviation industry”.

Olivier Ramsayer, Luc Tytgat, Trevor Woods and Wilfried Schulze are members of the EASA Executive Committee and report directly to Patrick Ky.

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NATS chalks up 1m tonnes of CO2 savings Tue, 20 Jan 2015 16:22:18 +0000 More ››]]> Up to 1m tonnes of aviation related CO2 is now being saved each year, according to figures released today by air traffic services company, NATS.

The reduction equates to more than £115m in enabled fuel savings for airlines and an average 4.3% cut in CO2 per flight.

The improvements are the result of changes to UK airspace that allow for more direct routes and improved vertical profiles; the use of more efficient procedures, such as continuous instead of stepped climbs and descents; and the introduction of new air traffic control technologies.

Over 300 changes to UK airspace have been made over the past six years in an effort to find better and more efficient routes for airlines. This includes the more flexible use of military airspace when not in use, something that has saved 30,000 tonnes of CO2 alone. The introduction of GAATS+, the tools that allow controllers to offer airlines the most efficient altitudes across the North Atlantic has itself enabled savings of over 110,000 tonnes of CO2.

Getting more environmental data into the hands of operational employees has also been a priority, and last year NATS became the first air traffic control organisation to trial the use of near real time environmental efficiency data using its ‘Flosys’ tool.

NATS is the only air traffic services provider in the world to be financially incentivised to improve environmental performance. A reduction of 4.3% means it has exceeded its own interim target of cutting aircraft CO2 by 4% by the end of 2014, ahead of the longer term goal of a 10% cut by 2020.

Ian Jopson, NATS Head of Environment and Community Affairs, said: “We set ourselves these targets as part of our environmental programme because it is the right thing to do for both the environment and our airline customers in terms of cutting their fuel bills.

“Getting to this point has been very challenging. It’s taken significant effort, some innovative thinking and collaborative working with our customers and neighbouring air traffic service providers. To have exceeded 4% is now the perfect springboard to achieving our longer term ambition of a 10% reduction.”

In a statement, the airline co-chairs of the Operational Partnership Agreement, the group that works with NATS to represent airline interests, said: “NATS continually works closely with all airline customers to understand how fuel burn impacts their business and in turn the environment. This focus and partnership together as an industry has led to significant airspace improvements when compared to before the 4% programme started.

“We look forward to this engagement continuing as NATS moves towards the 10% fuel saving target by 2020.”

Further environmental and fuel savings are expected to be enabled over the next five years, with NATS planning the wholesale redesign of UK airspace in order to take advantage of modern aircraft navigation technologies, as well as £600m worth of investment in new air traffic control technologies.

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DANS strikes GCC pact with Eurocontrol Mon, 19 Jan 2015 18:41:50 +0000 More ››]]> Dubai air traffic control and European air navigation safety agency Eurocontrol are linking up to advance research into wake vortex which rules how many aircraft can land at an airport in any given time.

Read more about RECAT

Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS), the air navigation service provider (ANSP) for Dubai’s two international airports and the airspace of the Northern Emirates, and Eurocontorl which is made up of 41 European member states, have signed a cooperation agreement – the first of its kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

DANS has been experimenting how the wake spacing between successive arrivals – the gap between successive aircraft – can be safely reduced. One of the wake projects is called RECAT, which is designed to recategorise the existing four wake turbulence categories into six new wake categories. DANS has been running a campaign to capture wake data for the last 18 months, and now has the database of approximately 160,000 tracks showing wake vortex behaviour in the Dubai environment.

Eurocontrol has been instrumental in the RECAT concept research and has developed a safety case which has subsequently been endorsed by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The agreement will enable further research on RECAT and the sharing with DANS of the safety case developed by Eurocontrol. The agreement will also hel develop solutions such as RECAT, to accommodate the escalating increase in capacity demand at Dubai International Airport, the world’s top airport for international passengers.

The agreement has been signed by the CEO of DANS, Mohammed Abdulla Ahli and the director general of Eurocontrol Frank Brenner today during a seminar on RECAT-EU hosted by DANS. The event was attended by various national stakeholders from the aviation industry, and witnessed participation from international organisations such as Eurocontrol, and DSNA, the French air navigation service provider.

Frank Brenner, director general of Eurocontrol, stated: “This ground-breaking agreement between Eurocontrol and Dubai Air Navigation Services will allow us to jointly make an important contribution to the activities that are underway in ICAO to define improved international wake-based separation minima bringing safety and economic benefits to aircraft manufacturers, airlines and airports such as Dubai.”

Ahli also added: “As a step in the right direction, we will be collaborating on the wake vortex project which is of tremendous importance to Dubai considering the massive air traffic increases it is witnessing at both airports. DANS invited all the national stakeholders in the aviation sector to discuss the opportunities of benefiting from this project in the future, regarding the increase of capacity in all the UAE airports.”

Read: xDG readies for new RECAT standards

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Irish air traffic ends 2014 in positive territory Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:00:51 +0000 More ››]]> The total number of flights travelling through Irish airspace grew by 2.7 per cent during 2014, marking a strong return to positive territory for almost all sectors of Irish air traffic.

Ireland’s en route traffic (flights that pass though Irish airspace but don’t land) increased by 1.0 per cent to 301,331 movements, while North Atlantic Communications flights (Europe/North America Flights) increased by 3.8 per cent to 420,423.

On the domestic front, commercial traffic grew by 6.5 per cent in 2014 at the three State airports of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, with a total of 215,783 movements (with 81per cent of the volume at Dublin airport).

Focusing on December 2014, Dublin airport surged forward, recording growth of 13.4 per cent in commercial movements against the same month in 2013, whilst Shannon grew by 8.5per cent. Terminal traffic at the State airports combined in December was up 10.7 per cent, when compared to the same month last year.

There was an increase of 3.7 per cent in Ireland’s en route traffic movements during December 2014 and the IAA’s North Atlantic Communications flights saw an increase of 2.3per cent.

There was an average of 1,251 daily flights during December 2014, with the busiest day being 5 December with 1,503 flights in Irish airspace.

Eamonn Brennan, chief executive of the IAA said: “The sustained growth in Irish air traffic is very welcome. Air traffic growth at Dublin and Shannon airports is being driven by the introduction of new routes by both low cost carriers and transatlantic operators. We also saw robust growth in 2014 in our North Atlantic Communications business for flights transiting between Europe and North America.

2014 has ended well and the future is bright for 2015. We’ll see increased transatlantic capacity and new routes from Aer Lingus, Ryanair up about 10 per cent, a new service linking Addis Ababa / Dublin / Los Angeles (served by Ethiopian Airlines), and the arrival of Vueling (IAG’s low cost airline) between Barcelona and Dublin to name but a few. These are all positive signs of confidence in the domestic and international economies.

As the economy grows, IAA said it will continue to support the airlines, the airports and the travelling public through the provision of safe, cost-efficient, and industry leading air traffic services in the years ahead.

Looking wider, in their review of the financial health of the global aviation industry for 2014, international airline industry organisation IATA announced in December an overall improvement in industry profitability for the year, with airlines expected to post a collective global net profit in 2014 of some US$19.9 billion (up from the US$18 billion projected in June).

It predicted that this figure is likely to rise to US$25 billion in 2015 with lower oil prices and a stronger worldwide GDP growth being the main drivers behind this improvement.

The IAA’s monthly analysis of delays from Air Traffic Flow Regulations, indicates that 215 aircraft were delayed from January to December 2014 by a total of 4,335 minutes. Of these delays 88 per cent were weather related (with 12 per cent attributable to one incident recorded in October).  Ireland has traditionally one of the lowest levels of en route and airport delays due to Air Traffic Flow Regulation delays in Europe and the IAA said it continues to proactively manage these delays to ensure they remain at a low level.

Click here for more detailed statistics.

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Egis, ICAD to target Middle-East, North Africa Fri, 16 Jan 2015 14:59:10 +0000 More ››]]> Egis and ICAD have signed a strategic partnership to developing commercial business in the Middle East and North Africa.

This partnership was signed by Cédric Barbier, director general of the Egis subsidiary specialising in aviation and Sh. Mohammed Bin Laden, president of ICAD.

The two companies have already collaboratd in a project focused on the integration and commissioning of air traffic management and communication, navigation and surveillance systems of a new control tower at a major middle eastern airport.

The companies have strong synergies in their systems engineering activities in aviation, particularly in design, integration and validation of airports and air traffic control systems.

Through this agreement, teams from both companies will work closely together in order to develop synergies and propose solutions that cater for the needs of the ambitious Middle East and North Africa aviation markets.

This agreement emphasises the will to jointly propose performance solutions to airport and air traffic management stakeholders in an area where the growth of air traffic is around 5 per cent per year for Africa and displays double digit values for the Middle East’, according to Cedric Barbier.

New ambitious airport projects are planned in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai, Kuwait and Bharain as well as other major Middle Eastern gateways.

Egis is strategically targeting the development of its activities in this geographic area, particularly in the Middle East where the group is expanding its aviation team and will be moving to a new regional office in Dubai. Egis has a long history in the Middle East and has completed a significant number of aviation projects since 1975. The company’s major projects in this area include Al Udeid Airbase design and PMC (1980); Design of the new terminal at Jeddah Airport (2008); and Technical and financial audit of the New Doha International Airport (2007).


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