Air Traffic Management STRATEGY, TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT FOR THE WORLD'S MOST GLOBAL INDUSTRY Thu, 08 Oct 2015 09:51:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Airways launch online airBooks venture Thu, 08 Oct 2015 09:50:59 +0000 More ››]]> Airways New Zealand aims to revolutionise the training of air traffic controllers globally with the launch of airBooks – a dynamic, media rich platform, empowering learning for the ‘net generation’ of aviation professionals.

Designed for tech-savvy students of the ‘net generation’, the airBooks range of Airways interactive resources allows students to work and learn at their own pace, with content that caters to individual learning styles.

The airBooks range covers the entire International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) syllabus across six downloadable titles: airMET, airNAV, airOPS, airLAW, airGAK and airHPF.  All content is aligned to ICAO regulations and guidelines.

Sharon Cooke, Airways head of training, says airBooks have been specifically developed by a team of young aviation professionals to meet the expectations of ‘net generation’ learners for a socially connected learning community, with content that is dynamic, responsive and interactive.

“With airBooks, we are empowering this new generation of students by shifting from the traditional paper and manual based learning, to a mobile learning platform that supports learning anywhere, anytime and at any pace,” said Cooke.

airBooks books are flexible and able to be personalised and customised. The course content can be viewed in multiple formats – for example, text, images, videos, interactive animation or games, and can be instantly updated whether by smartphone, tablet or personal computer. Students can also share their learning with peers and colleagues and gain technical support as part of the overall training package.

“It’s perfect for students who have grown up in a digital world and expect to access information or course content wherever and whenever it suits them,” said Cooke.

Airways will host an ‘e-learning lab’ at ATC Global to promote airBooks, and obtain feedback on its range of Airways Interactive Resources e-learning technologies. This will provide valuable information to help Airways better understand customers’ needs for e-learning resources.

“We believe we’ve developed a new and unique ATC training resource that’s a first for the aviation industry, and we’re excited about the potential of airBooks to revolutionise the aviation industry’s traditional paper-based approach to training,” said Cooke.

For more information about airBooks, and to request a demo, visit

]]> 0
NATS secures Frodsham mitigation contract Thu, 08 Oct 2015 09:47:57 +0000 More ››]]> UK air traffic services provider NATS has signed a major contract to provide a wind turbine mitigation service for Frodsham Wind Farm.

The turnkey surveillance solution will mitigate the impact of the 19 turbine 50MW onshore wind farm, owned by Peel Energy and Belltown Power, on the radar systems at both Chester Hawarden and Liverpool John Lennon airports.

The solution will be delivered into service in February 2016, after which NATS is contracted to operate and maintain it on behalf of the wind farm.

Wind turbines can cause interference to the radar signals air traffic controllers use to direct aircraft. The turbine blades can appear as ‘clutter’ on radar screens and be mistaken for aircraft.

Traditionally this has been addressed by ‘blanking’ out the area, which while effective is not a long term sustainable solution.

The NATS solution is based on the Terma SCANTER 4002 radar, which has been demonstrated as being resilient to the impact of wind turbines, with a Cobham Mosaic Processor which will provide a mitigated radar display to the controllers at each of the affected airports.

The contract with Frodsham WF Ltd. follows a number of successful trials at UK airports that demonstrated that the Terma system was capable of safely mitigating the impact of turbines while detecting even small targets beyond 40nm with good low level coverage.  Further, there has been a significant amount of work by the project team to develop a regulator approved Safety Case Part 2 for a windfarm tolerant technology.

NATS believes that this is the first wind turbine resilient radar system, not requiring terrain shielding, to achieve this milestone in the UK, and is now working with the rest of the team to deliver the overall project.

Anthony Hatton, strategic projects director at Peel, said “We’re delighted to have achieved the important milestone of financial close which marks the completion of all key contracts for the wind farm.  We’re now looking forward to seeing the mitigation solution going into operational service in the first quarter of next year ahead of the wind turbines arriving on site. The wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned, with the mitigation signed off, in the last quarter of 2016.”

Iain Harris, NATS engineering services director, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Peel, Terma and Cobham to deliver this mitigation solution into both Chester Hawarden and Liverpool John Lennon Airports. The team has achieved a significant milestone in delivering an approved Safety Case Part 2 for this first of type solution in the UK and is now working to deliver the overall project.”

]]> 0
IAA selects Saab’s Aerobahn for Dublin Thu, 08 Oct 2015 09:45:35 +0000 More ››]]> The Irish Aviation Authority is to deploy Saab’s Aerobahn Departure Manager (DMAN) to improve operational efficiency at Dublin International Airport by optimising the departure management process at one of Europe’s fastest growing airports.

The DMAN system will provide an optimised pre departure sequence and deliver associated Target Startup Approval Times (TSATs) and Target Take Off Times (TTOTs) directly to Saab’s Electronic Flight Strip system. The system will also provide variable taxi time calculations and collaborative pre-departure sequencing in accordance with (EU) Commission regulation no 716/2014.

“Saab’s DMAN will be an essential part of the Airport Collaborative Decision Making program being implemented at Dublin airport, resulting in increased Air Traffic Flow Management-Slot (ATFM-Slot) adherence, decreased taxi-times, lower environmental impact, better runway throughput and increased collaboration” said Anders Carp, head of Traffic Management, Saab.

”Saab’s DMAN is also fully compatible with the European departure management and A-CDM concepts and requirements and seamlessly integrates with Saab’s Electronic Flight Strips. Everyday more of our customers discover the benefits of increased capacity and efficiency from Saab’s integrated tower solutions,” said Anders Carp.

Saab’s DMAN also addresses some of the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU) modules directly linked to airport performance.

  • The DMAN sequences the departing traffic based on the aircraft wake vortex categories resulting in increased runway throughput for departing traffic (B1-70)
  • The DMAN enables time-based metering for departing traffic making traffic flow more efficient (B0-RSEQ).
  • The Pre-departure Sequencing capability enabled by Saab’s DMAN is also a critical part of the A-CDM concept that ultimately improves overall airport operation (B0-ACDM)
]]> 0
FAA expands UAV Pathfinder efforts Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:36:22 +0000 More ››]]> The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has entered into a Pathfinder agreement with CACI International to evaluate how the company’s technology can help detect Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the vicinity of airports.

In testimony today before the House Aviation Subcommittee, FAA deputy administrator Mike Whitaker said that flying an unmanned aircraft near a busy airfield poses an unacceptable safety hazard.

During the hearing titled, “Ensuring Aviation Safety in the Era of Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” Whitaker told the congressional panel the FAA signed an agreement this week to assess the safety and security capabilities of CACI’s product within a five-mile radius of airports, and the agency also will collaborate with its government partners.

A steep increase in reports of small unmanned aircraft in close proximity to runways is presenting a new challenge for the FAA. It is the agency’s responsibility to identify possible gaps in safety and address them before an incident occurs.

The CACI partnership is part of the larger UAS Pathfinder Programme, which the FAA announced in May 2015. Pathfinder is a framework for the agency to work closely with industry to explore the next steps in unmanned aircraft operations beyond those proposed in February in the draft small UAS rule.

“Safety is always the FAA’s top priority, and we are concerned about the increasing number of instances where pilots have reported seeing unmanned aircraft flying nearby,” said Whitaker. “We are looking forward to working with CACI and our interagency partners to identify and evaluate new technologies that could enhance safety for all users of the nation’s airspace.”

“CACI is proud to partner in the FAA’s Pathfinder cooperative research and development agreement to address the escalating Unmanned Aircraft Systems safety challenges that airports are facing nationwide,” said John Mengucci, CACI’s chief operating officer and president of US operations. “The agreement provides a proven way to passively detect, identify, and track UAS – or aerial drones – and their ground-based operators, in order to protect airspace from inadvertent or unlawful misuse of drones near U.S. airports. This CACI-built solution will help ensure a safe, shared airspace while supporting responsible UAS users’ right to operate their aircraft.”

CACI’s prototype UAS sensor detection system will be evaluated at airports selected by the FAA. The agency and its federal government partners will work with the company to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology, while also ensuring that it does not interfere with the safety and security of normal airport operations.


]]> 0
Searidge remote surface system for Tirana Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:51:00 +0000 More ››]]> Searidge Technologies has partnered with Radio Frequency & Advance Engineering to offer its Remote Surface Management System to Tirana International Airport (TIA).

The solution will enhance situational awareness and safety of the movement and non-movement areas at the airport.

The Searidge system will provide controllers with a live, seamless panoramic view of the main and north aprons, a runway and a taxiway. The system is expected to result in improved line of sight and safety of the monitored areas, in normal, low visibility and night operations.

“Our goal is to offer world-class service in the Albanian territory (FIR) using state of the art technology and systems,” said Sokol Reveli, head of operations, ALBCONTROL. “We selected Searidge because they offered undeniable experience and proven technology to meet our operational requirements, and jointly we are committed to optimizing the safety, capacity and overall efficiency of the airport.”

Building on their ATC-grade technology platform, Searidge has fully customised the system to meet ALBCONTROL’s current and future operational requirements.  The deployment of day/night visible and dual sensor pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras will provide TIA’s Controllers with constant, high frame rate video on a customized Human Machine Interface (HMI), displayed on the latest 4K technology.

With the addition of runway and taxiway overlays, controllers will be provided with an enhanced level of situational awareness during low visibility conditions and night operations. The system will also use video archiving for incident review in order to provide the airport with an additional layer of safety. In its entirety, the system will enable controllers to have an accurate understanding of ground situations and improve the overall handling of traffic, leading to improvements in the operation, safety and performance of the airport.

“The technology platform we are providing to ALBCONTROL allows the airport and ANSP to expand the functionality of the system as their needs change, as the airport grows and as new challenges and technologies are uncovered,” said Alex Sauriol, chief technology officer, Searidge Technologies. “We are deploying more and more applications of remote services and our customers are benefiting from our experience and unique approach to remote control and management of the surface.”

]]> 0
Virtual control tower for Fort Collins-Loveland Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:36:48 +0000 More ››]]> Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport has been selected as the official test facility for a new air traffic control system by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The virtual tower technology will employ ground-based video and aircraft ground detection components to provide data monitored by air traffic controllers working in a central off-airport location.

The high-tech array will provide an enhanced level of air safety at a cost dramatically lower than the expense required to construct and staff a traditional air traffic control tower, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The project’s $5.9 million test phase is funded by the Colorado Aviation Fund, which is supported solely through the collection of aviation fuel taxes administered by CDOT’s Division of Aeronautics.

The equipment necessary for the testing is expected to be installed at the Fort Collins-Loveland airport by spring, with initial testing and assessments of the new technology commencing shortly thereafter.

“This CDOT Aeronautics Division-led initiative to test virtual air traffic control technology in Colorado will further solidify CDOT and the Colorado Division of Aeronautics as a national leader in airspace technology innovation, enhancing aviation safety, capacity and efficiency, while minimizing the overall capital and operating costs,” said David Ulane, director of the state aeronautics division.

“This will greatly enhance aviation safety at the airport,” said Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez. “With that, opportunities for commercial air service, and economic development both on and off the airport, will open up. This is a major step forward for our regional airport and its newly created airport authority board.”

The FAA’s NextGen Office coordinated with CDOT’s aeronautics division to develop a selection process for determining the airport facility location for the test. The site-selection process considered airspace type, existing airport infrastructure and runway configuration, daily aircraft operation levels, aircraft traffic mix, accessibility to a major airport and local stakeholder support.

The process concluded with Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport and Durango-La Plata County Regional Airport as the front-runners for the official test-facility locations. Fort Collins-Loveland ultimately was chosen in part because of its close proximity to the FAA Approach and area control centres located in Denver and Longmont.


]]> 0
First UAV rules fielded by US standards setters Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:23:22 +0000 More ››]]> US standards setting body RTCA has outlined the future rules that will likely govern how key unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will operate in US airspace.

The body is calling the publication a significant milestone in the development of aviation standards for unmanned aircraft with the completion of “interim” documents – Detect and Avoid (DAA) Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Verification and Validation and Command and Control (C2) Data Link Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Verification and Validation (Terrestrial).

The documents focus on an initial scenario: the operation of civil UAVs “to” and “from” Class A airspace (above Flight Level 18,000) under instrument flight rules. Final document release is expected in 2016 following a period of Verification and Validation tests of DAA and C2 performances.

The DAA MOPS provides initial standards for a collection of airborne sensors whose outputs are combined using software on the Unmanned Aircraft (UA) to provide the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Pilot in Command awareness of proximate traffic as well as suggestive guidance on how to avoid any loss of traffic separation.

The C2 Data Link MOPS contains standards for the UAS Command and Control Non-Payload Communication Link System. C2 refers to the information exchanges needed to support the Pilot in Command to safely maneuver the Unmanned Aircraft (UA) on the ground and in the air. The document is focused on C-Band and L-Band terrestrial data links.

RTCA Special Committee 228, with nearly 500 members, is led by George Ligler, PMEI and Paul McDuffee, Insitu.  The committee is divided into two Working Groups – WG-1, DAA, led by Brandon Suarez, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Don Walker, FAA, and WG-2, led by John Moore, Rockwell Collins and Steve Van Trees, FAA.

“This is a historic milestone on the path to integrating UAS’s into the airspace in a safe and efficient manner. It would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the leaders and participants of SC-228, as well as the guidance and support of DOD, FAA and NASA,” said Margaret Jenny, president of RTCA.

For additional information and to order newly released documents, visit RTCA’s store at Find the complete list of available documents at

]]> 0
ANZ, ferroNATS team on Latin American growth Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:09:42 +0000 More ››]]> Students who complete air traffic control training at Airways New Zealand’s training hub in Puerto Rico – and who pass the FerroNATS selection process – could soon enter the job pool of one of Europe’s newest air traffic services providers.

In a contract signed between FerroNATs and Airways, FerroNATS will also provide instructors, examiners and consultancy services for Airways’ ATC courses being delivered at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.

This will mean a more seamless transition between university study and on-the-job-training for Airways students at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. With this agreement, FerroNATS will provide its expertise to help deliver the air traffic control courses expected to begin in late 2015.

Sharon Cooke, Airways head of training, said the agreement with FerroNATS signals a paradigm shift in the way the company and its partners market their ATC training packages.

“We are moving away from a business-to-business approach to a more direct appeal to the consumer, in this case next generation ATC students,” said Cooke.

“Offering these students the opportunity to gain an air traffic control qualification at one of the world’s leading aviation establishments, and the chance to enter FerroNATS’ job pool, will have real appeal,” she said.

FerroNATS managing director Gonzalo Cañete, said: “It’s with great satisfaction for FerroNATS to have the chance to export our training and consultancy expertise, and to share our know-how with international leading organisations such as Airways and the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.”

“In just two short years we successfully assumed responsibility for the management of nine control towers in Spain, and we now have over 500,000 flights a year under our belt.

“We are pleased to partner with organisations of the calibre of Airways and the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, and to have the opportunity to work collaboratively to nurture and grow the next generation of air traffic controllers,” he said.

Based in Spain, FerroNATS is jointly owned by Grupo Ferrovial and NATS, the provider of air navigation services in the United Kingdom.

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is one of the largest private universities in the western hemisphere, with a dedicated School of Aeronautics, and has partnered with Airways to provide air traffic control training services at its newly established ATC training campus.

“The mix of FerroNATS expertise, Airways world-class ATC training and technologies and the Inter American University of Puerto Rico’s educational leadership means the training package is well placed for success,” said Cooke.


For more information about Airways please visit

]]> 0
Osprey wins Marshall safety engineering work Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:30:47 +0000 More ››]]> Osprey CSL has been awarded a new contract by Thales to provide safety engineering support to the Marshall programme to deliver deliver modern and reliable air traffic control for the UK’s military aircraft.

Thales is providing replacement equipment to support the delivery of technical services as part of an overall transition programme at a number of fixed UK, overseas and deployed sites. Osprey will develop safety assurance documentation for the equipment during the installation and transition period.

Jon Arden, managing director at Osprey said: “This new contract reflects the strong pedigree, commitment and capability of the Osprey team and we look forward to progressing the delivery of the ATM service provision.”

Previously, Osprey worked with Thales to provide safety engineering support throughout the bid phase of Marshall. This experience provided familiarity with Thales ATM equipment which will ultimately allow Osprey to work at pace and deliver significant cost benefits during the delivery phase of programme.

Marshall was initiated by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to identify and evaluate options for the future delivery of their military terminal Air Traffic Management (ATM) capability. In October 2014, AQUILA (a joint venture between NATS and Thales) was awarded the contract to deliver Marshall and will see industry take over air traffic management systems and services at all MOD operated air bases and flying ranges in the UK and overseas, including duties in support of expeditionary air operations. This project will deliver modern and reliable air traffic control for the UK’s military aircraft including new equipment at in excess of 30 MOD sites across the UK and overseas bases. The contract will run for 22 years and is valued at £1.5bn.

]]> 0
FAA chief signals safety compliance evolution Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:13:58 +0000 More ››]]> Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta has announced the next step in the FAA’s continuing evolution of working with those it regulates.

Speaking today at the Flight Safety Foundation’s breakfast, Huerta explained how the FAA developed the new Compliance Philosophy to enhance the agency’s ability to find safety problems before they result in an incident or accident, use the best tools to fix those problems, and then monitor the situation to ensure that no new problems develop.

“This approach recognizes that most operators comply with the rules and use Safety Management Systems to identify hazards. They then assess the risks from those hazards, and put measures in place to mitigate the risks,” Huerta said. “The Compliance Philosophy challenges the status quo. The FAA wants safe operators, not operators who inadvertently make a mistake and then hide it because they’re afraid they will be punished.

“Based on cooperation and trust, it encourages an open and transparent exchange of information and data between the FAA and industry. The Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) successfully used this approach to reduce the risk in U.S. commercial aviation by 83 percent over 10 years.

“The FAA’s Compliance Philosophy helps the FAA and industry to use critical thinking to work smarter and more efficiently to get to the bottom of potential safety problems, said Huerta. It’s about finding a problem, fixing a problem, and making sure it stays fixed.”

Huerta stressed that the FAA will continue to have zero tolerance for intentional reckless behavior, inappropriate risk-taking, repeat failures, falsification, failure to fulfill commitments, or deviation from regulatory standards. The FAA will continue to vigorously pursue enforcement action in these circumstances.


]]> 0