Space Odyssey

Flight Tracking A Bonus?

In a similar way to today’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), the communication equipment being developed under Iris Precursor is being designed to accommodate a location message in the protocol as well as its principal aim of providing a greater communication traffic load.

This cost-effective location message approach came from work launched in response to the Air France AF447 tragedy under the SESAR SAT-OPTIMI study.

Following the tragic loss of Flight 447 over the Atlantic in June 2009, the European Commission asked the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) to find solutions for the better tracking of aircraft in oceanic and remote low density airspace.

The consortium responsible for the Oceanic Position Tracking Improvement & Monitoring (OPTIMI) project delivered their report to the SESAR Joint Undertaking with recommendations regarding technical, operational, economic and regulatory changes.  

The recommendations were the basis for a second study in 2010 called, SAT-OPTIMI, which assessed short to-medium timeframe innovations in satellite systems development enabling global coverage.

While black box or flight data recorder (FDR) data streaming is not associated with 4D operations, in principle any data that fits within the available communications bandwidth can be transmitted in an emergency if it is connected in the aircraft and the FDR has the data compression and output necessary - although that does not exist today.

Managing the forecast boom in air traffic safely while driving down costs is driving Europe to adopt satellite-based data exchange. Aimée Turner examines how Europe … More ››

Market Approach


Addressing European transport ministers in Rome last week, Richard Deakin, the chief executive of UK air traffic services provider NATS, urged the European Commission to … More ››

Fortune Favours


James Hanson draws on his experience supporting service providers in the procurement and safety assessment of remote towers to consider the challenges and rewards. Air … More ››

Virtual Vanguard

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Conor Mullan from Think Research examines the various solutions and possible applications for remote tower technology both in Europe and further afield. A little under … More ››

Vision On

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There has been much debate about the concept of remote tower services but the Swedish experience suggests they are ready for the real world, writes … More ››

System Approach

Characteristic delay states of the National Airspace System, identified through clustering. These delay states have been shown to help predict flight delays in the air traffic network. Credit: Hamsa Balakrishnan, MIT

Aaron Dubrow from the National Science Foundation reports on designing tomorrow’s air traffic control systems On a good day, flying can be a comfortable and … More ››

Trouble Ahead


Europe’s air traffic management network must develop better resilience to climate risks just as with other crisis situations such as volcanic eruptions, cyber attacks or … More ››

Stand & Deliver


Andrew Charlton interviews Edward L Bolton Jr, assistant administrator for NextGen, the multi-billion dollar effort to overhaul US air traffic management The task of making … More ››

Bringing It Home

NextGen programme delays  Have delays in NextGen developments impacted your export business? Has your export strategy changed because of these delays?

In 2013, the US aerospace industry contributed $128.74 billion in export sales to its national economy, reports Aimée Turner. In fact, the sector’s positive trade balance … More ››

True Heading?


What will the airline industry come up with in terms of global flight tracking solutions? Is it truly committed to a huge leap in situation … More ››