Air Traffic Management STRATEGY, TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT FOR THE WORLD'S MOST GLOBAL INDUSTRY Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:59:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Garmin unveils cost effective GA ADS-B solution Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:59:47 +0000 More ››]]> Garmin has launched the GDL 84 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) datalink, which is the latest addition to its lineup of certified ADS-B solutions.

The GDL 84 provides an all-inclusive, minimally intrusive solution for aircraft owners looking to satisfy the requirements of NextGen, while providing the benefits offered by ADS-B In without the need to significantly modify the panel of the aircraft or the need for a multifunction display.

When the GDL 84 is paired with the Flight Stream Bluetooth wireless gateway, pilots gain access to advanced traffic and subscription-free weather information for display within Garmin Pilot on a mobile device.

“We’ve made the decision simple and beneficial for pilots who are looking for a cost-effective way to meet the requirements of ADS-B Out while receiving the benefits of ADS-B In, which does not require a significant avionics installation,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “Backed by our portfolio of ADS-B solutions, Garmin offers comprehensive options for each segment of general aviation. Pilots can depend on us to provide a complete, feature-rich solution, which meets the requirements of NextGen by December 31, 2019.”

The GDL 84 provides a rule-compliant ADS-B Out solution for aircraft operating below 18,000 feet in the U.S., while offering access to traffic information and subscription-free weather. Innovative dual-link capability allows the GDL 84 to receive on both the 978 MHz UAT and 1090 MHz frequency bands to provide the most comprehensive display of traffic information available in the industry.

Installation is quick and easy because the GDL 84 is a straightforward solution that wirelessly transmits weather and traffic information via Flight Stream 110/210 to a mobile device, instead of an installed multifunction display in the cockpit. Additionally, for aircraft owners who do not already have a compatible WAAS GPS position source on board their aircraft, the GDL 84 offers a built-in WAAS GPS receiver. The GDL 84 is an all-inclusive solution, which meets regulatory requirements and gives pilots the added benefits without the cost associated with a large installation.

Becoming rule-compliant and preserving the existing aircraft panel are important to many aircraft owners. Because of the versatility and wireless functionality of the GDL 84 and Flight Stream, the existing panel configuration remains intact. Garmin’s patented self-interrogation feature allows the GDL 84 to wirelessly communicate and interface with a wide range of general aviation transponders to synchronize squawk code and ident. This technology enables the ADS-B Out source to broadcast the same code as the transponder, eliminating the need to install an additional ADS-B control panel, which further simplifies installation and eases the burden of manually keeping two squawk codes in sync. The only panel modification required includes a single annunciator indicating ADS-B status.

Pilots will be delighted with the benefits offered by the GDL 84. Garmin’s patent-pending TargetTrend relative motion technology helps pilots visualize the trend of traffic threats as they relate to their aircraft. TargetTrend provides an easy-to-interpret picture of aircraft trajectories, which helps pilots better predict potential conflicts. ADS-B-equipped surface targets are also displayed on Garmin SafeTaxi airport diagrams, including taxiing aircraft and ground vehicles. Adding to the wireless versatility of Flight Stream, GPS location information derived from the GDL 84 and back-up attitude information from Flight Stream 210 combine to display position and attitude information within Garmin Pilot.


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First Aireon flight payload delivered Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:13:04 +0000 More ››]]> Aireon’s first flight payload for the system has been delivered by Harris for integration into Iridium NEXT satellites.

This is the first of 81 ADS-B receiver payloads that will be launched and deployed on Iridium NEXT to provide Aireon’s real-time aircraft monitoring system that will optimise air traffic management around the world.

“With only 28 months from contract award to the delivery of the first payload, the Harris team has done a phenomenal job in not only building and qualifying a full payload in record time, but also exceeding all technical and performance milestones necessary for providing a robust surveillance capability for air traffic management,” said Don Thoma, President and CEO, Aireon.

“This achievement is a key building block towards a successful first launch in 2015 and moves Aireon one step closer to having a fully deployed space-based ADS-B surveillance system available for the aviation community beginning in 2017.”

“First payload shipment is yet another key milestone in this program and puts us one step closer to transforming air traffic management around the world,” said Bill Gattle, vice president and general manager, national programmes, Harris Government Communications Systems. “Our partnership with Aireon and Iridium demonstrates the extraordinary value of hosted payload solutions for cost effective access to space.”

The Aireon hosted payload was delivered to Orbital Sciences Corporation’s manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona, where Orbital is responsible for the assembly, integration, test and launch support phases for Iridium’s second-generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.

The highly efficient satellite production line will complete a total of 81 satellites for the constellation, including 66 low-Earth orbit operational satellites, six in-orbit spares, and nine ground-backup spacecraft, over the next three years. Aireon, with its ADS-B receiver payloads integrated as a hosted payload, will benefit from the global coverage and high availability of the Iridium NEXT constellation.

In partnership with air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and investors from around the world, NAV CANADA, ENAV, IAA and Naviair, as well as Iridium, Aireon plans to provide the first opportunity for global air traffic surveillance as early as 2017.

The Aireon space-based ADS-B service will complement ground-based air traffic surveillance systems currently in use, by seamlessly relaying position and status information of aircraft flying over oceans, poles and remote regions to air traffic controllers on the ground. Aireon said this new capability is a quantum leap for remote surveillance, extending air traffic surveillance to the entire planet and unlocking operational efficiencies, reducing fuel costs and enhancing safety in remote and oceanic airspace.

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AQUILA to transform UK military airfields Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:17:55 +0000 More ››]]> AQUILA, a joint venture between NATS and Thales, has signed a contract to deliver Marshall, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) programme to transform terminal air traffic management at military airfields.

The contract is valued at around £1.5bn over the course of its 22 year life-span.

Marshall seeks to ensure a safe, efficient and sustainable Air Traffic Management (ATM) service for the UK Armed Forces. It will modernise ATM at over 100 MOD locations, in the UK and overseas, including more than 60 airfields and ranges.

AQUILA will deliver a system-wide modernisation and rationalisation of the current fragmented system, and establish a flexible ATM service – one that complies with known regulatory requirements and which is future-proofed to meet any potential change in the regulatory and technological landscape.

The contract scope supports ATM terminal operations, which will continue to be delivered by military air traffic operators.  AQUILA will deliver new equipment, system upgrades, maintenance, support services and training.

The AQUILA solution introduces four new ATM hubs – allowing services to be centralised, streamlining delivery and making better use of new technology. Overseas airfields, Royal Navy Air Stations and the more geographically isolated UK airfields and ranges will continue to operate on a stand-alone basis, but with fully modernised approach and visual control rooms.

Maintenance services will be delivered through a regional support model of six UK regions, ensuring quick response times whenever an issue is identified. The regional teams will be supported 24/7 by a dedicated technical service desk located at NATS’ Control Centre in Hampshire; this centralised function will be staffed by highly-qualified ATM engineers, and will be responsible for service control and monitoring.

The MOD expects AQUILA’s solution to deliver the UK Government savings of approximately £1bn over the contract duration.

AQUILA assumes responsibility for Marshall services on 1 April 2015. An asset replacement programme to install advanced ATM equipment will be phased in from that date; this will include new and upgraded surveillance radars, control and navigations systems.

Richard Deakin, CEO of NATS, said: “Marshall promises a genuine transformation for the UK’s military ATM. I’m delighted that the AQUILA proposal has been selected, as it was low risk, with proven credibility to deliver ATM service transformation in the UK, and with safety at its heart. Our solution will help the MOD achieve very significant cost savings over many years.  By selecting AQUILA, the MOD is leading the world in extending the joint military/civil ATM approach, and Marshall will be a global showcase for the benefits it can deliver.”

Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, said: “AQUILA brings together the best-in-class providers of ATM systems and services to deliver the optimum solution for UK military air operations. Thales will draw on its extensive experience of delivering mission critical services to the MOD, and from other infrastructure projects that have demanded 24/7 service availability and required significant upgrades on infrastructure that is in constant use. Marshall will showcase the best in UK innovation – from the delivery model and the long-term partnership with the MOD, to the leading-edge technology that will be deployed at the airfields.”

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Malaysia urges global rules for aircraft tracking, data sharing Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:48:30 +0000 More ››]]> Malaysia is pushing for the mandatory implementation of real-time aircraft tracking and the sharing of safety critical information over conflict zones at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council meeting this week.

It was clear that the international community must collaborate closely and take greater steps to improve safety and security in civil aviation, said Malaysia’s transport minister Liow Tiong Lai, in wake of the Malaysia Airlines Flights MH17 and MH370 tragedies.

Liow has put forward a series of recommendation to the ICAO Council in relation to the flight risk issues linked with MH370 and MH17.

Among the issues were the need to implement real-time aircraft tracking, to use longer lasting batteries in the black boxes, and for mandatory sharing of information between ICAO, its member states and the airline industry.

Citing how the progress of the MH17 investigation has been hindered by fighting in Ukraine, Liow highlighted the need to revisit the existing guidelines for air accident investigations in conflict zones.

He also urged the organisation to expand its leadership role by introducing to member states a resolution in support of Malaysia’s recommendations.

“If these two unprecedented events tell us anything, it is that we cannot delay implementing changes in the global commercial aviation operations,” said Liow.


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R&S sees stability on restrained economics Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:22:55 +0000 More ››]]> Rohde & Schwarz said it could look back on a stable fiscal year in its latest annual results.

The economic environment in the German electronics group’s key markets was more challenging than in previous years although Rohde & Schwarz said it had defended its market position in all of its business fields, mainly due to its superior product range and a stable situation in the core European markets.

In Latin America, the group said it had actually achieved a significant increase in incoming orders. The United States and Asia remain the most important growth markets for the family-owned company headquartered in Munich.

The volume of incoming orders stabilized at approximately €1.8 billion over the past fiscal year (July 2013 to June 2014). The net revenue of €1.75 billion was on target. At the end of the fiscal year, the company had some 9,800 employees, as compared with 9,300 a year earlier.

Rohde & Schwarz’s business is based on four pillars: test and measurement, broadcasting, secure communications, radiomonitoring and radiolocation.

In the test and measurement business field, the group was able to defend its market share in the past fiscal year. The main source of revenue was again wireless communications T&M equipment.

After several years of booming business, demand in this market has normaliszed. However, the business said an expanded product portfolio enabled the company to again achieve positive results in its business with mobile network operators.

Together with subsidiaries ipoque and SwissQual, Rohde & Schwarz offers T&M solutions for the entire lifecycle of a wireless network from a single source which it claims to be unparalleled in the market. The company also posted gains in the wide-base market with its general purpose T&M equipment grouped under the “Value Instruments” label. This offering rounds out the Rohde & Schwarz product portfolio in the lower price segment.

In the broadcasting business field, Rohde & Schwarz does not simply rely on its established customer segments in transmitters and test and measurement equipment but has been consistently expanding its expertise as a provider of broadcasting and media technology along the entire value chain.

For example, Rohde & Schwarz already offers solutions for the complete transmission path of the high-resolution 4K video format, from ingest, post production and A/V headends to transmission. The company has won important reference projects in this area, such as the Rohde & Schwarz 4K end-to-end system chosen by Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) in South Korea.

The secure communications business field felt the effects of geopolitical developments and the financial restraint in many countries. Nevertheless, the company said it was well-positioned for the future due to its strong expertise in key technologies and decisive investments in innovative products.

The new generation of software defined radios ensures high data rate anti-jam communications within the framework of network centric operations. In air traffic control, Rohde & Schwarz is the first provider to offer virtual control centres operating across national boundaries, backed by a fully IP-based voice communications system. Important reference projects secured in this area have sent out positive signals. The radiomonitoring and radiolocation business field also had a successful year and maintained the high level of incoming orders reported in the previous year.

To further ensure future success, Rohde & Schwarz is intensifying its investments in the cyber security market. The new subsidiary gateprotect, acquired in July, will enhance the electronics group’s expertise in network security. Rohde & Schwarz also plans to strengthen its position in cyber security in the B2B segment.

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Three eyeing KLIA contract opportunities Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:39:45 +0000 More ››]]> Three companies are in contention for a RM700 million upgrade of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)’s new air traffic management system.

Malaysian media reports that Finmeccanica division Selex ES, France’s Thales and Spain’s Indra Systems are reported to be in the running.

“The tender will be announced by the ministry of transport and it should be within the next two months,” officials told local media sources.

Selex ES has had a presence in Malaysia for 20 years supplying civil and military air traffic control (ATC), radars, electronic warfare systems and to the Malaysian air force and navy.

Selex’s local partner is Advanced Air Traffic Systems (M) Sdn Bhd which won the contract to supply primary and secondary radars for the airports in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Baru, Subang, Labuan, Langkawi and Sepang in 1994 has expressed interest in the project.

Thales’ TopSky which is thought suitable for Malaysia’s unique needs as the system can overcome interoperability challenges in a country that operates diverse systems.

It has already established a partnership with DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech), a subsidiary of DRB Hicom Group, to provide armoured-wheeled vehicles for the Malaysian Army and also with Sapura Holdings Sdn Bhd and established Sapura Thales Electronics Sdn Bhd to supply electronic and communication solutions for the Malaysian Armed Forces.

Thales’ presence in the Asia Pacific region includes Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Another company who has also partnered with Sapura is Indra Systemas, which is offering iTEC Systems (interoperability Through European Collaboration), an ATMS technology that brings together the air navigation service providers of Spain, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands.

iTEC Systems provides advanced flight data processing under system wide information management (SWIM) capable architecture to improve flow of information among control centres and airports.

The system is also report to be being considered by other European countries among others include Oro Navigacija of Lithuania, Poland’s PANSA Portugal’s NAV Portugal and Bulgaria’s BULATSA.


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UK drone flown recklessly at passenger aircraft Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:12:43 +0000 More ››]]> A quadcopter is thought to have been flown deliberately at a passenger aircraft in the UK as it came in to land at Southend airport.

The May incident features in a UK Airprox Board report, detailing how  the remotely operated drone came dangerously close to colliding with the aircraft’s right wing.

The pilot of the 75-seat AT72-500 spotted the quadcopter at an altitude of about 460 metres (1500 feet) and assessed the risk of collision as ‘high’.

The report said the co-pilot believed the drone had been flown “deliberately close to the AT72 because he had seen it around 100 metres away as it approached from the right-hand side and made a turn to fly in the opposite direction to his aircraft, around 25 metres away and at the same level.”

According to a transcript of the incident, air traffic controllers were already aware of other reports of quadcopters flying near the airport. Despite a search of the area and inquiries at local model aircraft flying clubs, the operator of the drone has yet to be traced.

In May, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that a US Airways passenger aircraft came close to colliding with an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The incident occurred at about 700 metres (2300 feet) near Tallahassee Regional Airport in Florida when the pilot of the 50-seat aircraft judged the drone to have been a hobbyist’s model aircraft rather than a quadcopter. FAA official Jim Williams said at the time that the drone had come so close to the passenger aircraft that the pilot was “sure he had collided with it.”

Read More: Existing drone tech poses lethal risk: EASA

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Charles River Analytics wins NASA contract Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:01:15 +0000 More ››]]> Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, has secured a new contract awarded by NASA to aid aviation safety analysts in assessing critical flight systems.

Charles River, under NASA’s Programming Useful Life Prediction effort (PULP), is developing prediction techniques for estimating remaining useful life (RUL) of a component or device, when it will no longer perform as intended.

Accurately predicting RUL can increase safety and reduce financial and operational costs for flight systems, leading to more robust maintenance programs.

“We will be developing a new approach to RUL prediction by using probabilistic programming to combine both expert knowledge and historical data to reasoning about RUL. We’ll apply it to unmanned aircraft, in a way that we expect will be more accurate than using either approach on its own,” explained Dr. Avi Pfeffer, the principal investigator for the PULP effort.

“A physics model will be developed by our partner, Unmanned Experts, and will be implemented in our probabilistic program using Figaro, a general probabilistic programming language. We will also apply Figaro’s machine learning techniques to learn RUL predictors from NASA’s data.”

Figaro enables developers to create tools that help people make better decisions in the face of uncertainty. It supports a new kind of model-development process by simplifying the challenging task of creating probabilistic models, which determine a situation’s unknown facts from known facts.

One of the most compelling features of Figaro is the ability to integrate different kinds of models, such as physics-based differential equations and statistical models learned from data, inside a probabilistic program. Figaro is released under an open-source license and can be downloaded for free.


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NATS opens dedicated Middle East office Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:26:56 +0000 More ››]]> Ben Kiff NATS head of proposition development, Catherine Mason NATS managing director, services, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC, and John Swift

Ben Kiff NATS head of proposition development, Catherine Mason NATS managing director, services, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC, and John Swift

NATS has opened its headquarters for the Middle East and North Africa region, with a permanent office in Dubai, UAE.

To mark the occasion, a number of its senior executives, including Catherine Mason, Managing Director, NATS Services, and John Swift, Director, NATS Middle East, met with Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, to discuss some of the most significant aviation opportunities and challenges facing the Gulf countries.

Video: The Challenges Faced By The Middle East

NATS also outlined its long term commitment to the region and its desire to work in collaboration with local service providers, regulators, airlines and airports, to find appropriate solutions to meet the aviation growth aspirations of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).

NATS already has an impressive track record operating in the Middle East. In 2006, the company was contracted to design terminal airspace around Al Maktoum International Airport prior to its opening. The airport will eventually have six runways coping with an annual capacity of up to 160 million passengers. Paramount to the success of that project was a partnership approach, which delivered an agreement between all civil and military stakeholders regarding the use and the final re-designed airspace.

With the GCC states expected to serve 450 million passengers annually by 2020, and with total aircraft movements in the Gulf’s airspace predicted to reach over 2.3 million, like many others within the aviation industry, NATS sees an urgent need for these countries to master its invisible infrastructure – its airspace.

John Swift, Director, NATS Middle East, said:  “A permanent, on the ground presence covering the region is a major milestone for us. Over recent years NATS has successfully completed projects in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, but having a dedicated regional office is a clear sign of our long term commitment to working in partnership with the aviation community, especially as it seeks to harness aviation as an economic engine for growth.

“Addressing airspace congestion within the Gulf remains a critical challenge, and our approach is to leverage our expertise and experience – including in some of the world’s busiest airspace – to find solutions so that the GCC ensures it remains a global aviation powerhouse. Working in partnership as an industry is the key to the development and implementation of successful solutions, and NATS Middle East stands ready and willing to be an active part of that effort.”

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, said:  “At DMCC we focus on providing businesses ranging from start-ups to large corporates with everything they need to trade with confidence in Dubai so they can expand at an unrivalled pace. We welcome NATS to the DMCC corporate family – they are joining a thriving international, award-winning Free Zone that is also the largest and fastest growing in the UAE with around 9,500 member companies.

“It is encouraging to see large international entities like NATS, which operates in over 30 countries around the world, choosing to join the DMCC Free Zone. This is further testament to Dubai and DMCC’s attractiveness to large corporates as they look to grow and access new markets in a business friendly and competitive environment.”

Experts predict that air traffic movements across the UAE skies will reach a staggering 1.62m by 2030 and the video posted here features

  • Senior figures from NATS discussing the challenges facing airspace in the region as Al Maktoum International Airport continues to grow
  • What needs to be done to tackle airspace problems in the Middle East
  • The commitment of NATS to the future of aviation in the Gulf States
  • Interview with the Executive Chairman of the DMCC about what difference it will mean for international business for NATS to have a permanent office here
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Toronto Pearson deploys Era’s SQUID Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:26:11 +0000 More ››]]> Canada’s Toronto Pearson International Airport has selected Czech Republic based ERA to supply 80 vehicle-mounted SQUID transmitters as its surface vehicle tracking system.

The contract was awarded to ERA after an international tendering process. SQUIDS by ERA are also in use at Montréal–Mirabel International Airport.

“The selection of ERA is the result of a tendering process. ERA claims compliancy with the requirements of the Request for Tender (RFT) and scored best on the defined evaluation criteria by Canadian authorities. Only the most highly-rated technologies can successfully compete in such a demanding local environment. ERA is pleased to add Canadian airports to its growing list of SQUID partners,” stated ERA Managing Director Viktor Sotona.

The ERA-designed SQUID self-contained vehicle tracking unit improves airport safety by continuously broadcasting the exact position of all ground vehicles, including tugs, de-icing equipment, and fire and rescue vehicles. By using permanently mounted or portable ADS-B squitter beacon transmitters, SQUID minimizes the risk of vehicle collisions, especially during low visibility conditions.

As an important part of every advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS), SQUID improves overall situational awareness. The trust placed in this particular ERA product is shown by the fact that SQUID installations predominate at some of the busiest airports around the world, including Copenhagen, Amsterdam Schiphol, Istanbul or Singapore.

Toronto Pearson International Airport is the largest airport in Canada, and the 35th busiest airport of the world in terms of passenger traffic (in 2013, it handled more than 36 million passengers, and more than 430,000 operations). The Toronto Airport is located 22.5km northwest of Downtown Toronto, in the municipality of Mississauga, and serves the province of Ontario that has 12 Million of inhabitants.

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