First, we look to the UK where NATS implemented one of their biggest airspace modernisation changes over South West England and Wales. Following four years of development, the organisation deployed systemisation and Free Route Airspace simultaneously, transforming a third of the UK’s airspace infrastructure. The West Airspace Deployment helps deliver a more sustainable future for air travel and supports the UK government’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy.
Next, we turn to the US where the Biden-Harris administration has pledged $20 million in funding to modernize 29 airport control towers. The FAA will award the money from Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to airport owned traffic control towers across the nation, upgrading and building control towers in small towns and regional airports.
In Sweden, ESSP and Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions AB signed an EGNOS Working Agreement. This is a key step for the implementation of EGNOS-based approach procedures in Sweden. EGNOS' precision signals and services will provide a cost-effective air navigation solution for the country.
Finally, there are exciting advancements from SESAR JU with their controller voice recognition tool. They are reseraching automatic speech recognition and understanding (ASRU) to save flight time and fuel burn, while lessening controllers' workloads. German Aerospace Center (DLR) and its partner Idiap developed an ASRU tool capable of reducing the additional clicking time by a factor of 30.
- NATS deploys once in a generation airspace upgrade - One of the UK’s biggest airspace modernisation changes has been implemented over Wales and southwest England, following more than four years of development.
- ENAIRE will invest 9.5 million euros to transfer and virtualise air traffic control systems supported by Voice over IP - ENAIRE’s Board of Directors has approved an open procedure tender to transfer and supply the automated air traffic control systems (SACTA) and integrated digital voice systems (COMETA) to the new technical building of the Madrid Air Control Centre, at an estimated cost of €9,512,814,00 with a 24-month delivery period out to 2025.
- A6 Alliance Welcomes Collaborative Approach to Summer 2023 - The A6 Alliance is committed to a partnership approach with EUROCONTROL Network Manager, Airports and Airlines working together to maximise available capacity for Summer 2023. Aviation players in Europe face up to 5,000 more flights daily than the same period last year and concrete measures will be in place to maximise capacity and reduce delays.
- Schiphol, nlmtd and TNW combine innovative strengths for the airport of the future - Royal Schiphol Group, nlmtd and TNW are teaming up to further accelerate innovation at the airport. nlmtd and TNW have extensive in-house expertise and a large, global network of start-ups and innovation partners that Schiphol can draw upon. The collaboration starts this spring with a trial involving self-driving buses.
- Mangaluru International Airport to Handle 242 Weekly ATMs in Summer Schedule - Summer schedule 2023 is well and truly on across India from March 26. Mangaluru International Airport is fully geared to play its part in aiding this schedule. This can be gauged from the fact that MIA up to May 31 will handle 234 weekly air traffic movements in the earlier part of the schedule that ends on October 28. In the latter part of the schedule from June 1, MIA will handle 242 ATMs each week.
- Biden-Harris Administration Announces $20 Million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Modernize 29 Airport Control Towers Across the U.S. - The FAA will award $20 Million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 29 airport owned traffic control towers across the U.S. The funding will be used to upgrade and build control towers in small towns and at regional airports.
- MATARAT Holding signs a contract with Egis to serve 26 airports in Saudi Arabia Egis - MATARAT has signed a three-year contract to provide consulting services with the Egis company. This contract comes is a step towards establishing phased project management portals, updating airport project management policies and procedures, and providing technical support for planning, designing, and following up the implementation of capital projects with MATARAT subsidiaries.
- ESSP and Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions AB sign an EGNOS Working Agreement - ESSP, as EGNOS Service Provider, and the Swedish ANSP, Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions AB, have recently signed an EGNOS Working Agreement as a key step for the implementation of EGNOS-based approach procedures in Sweden.
- Designing the Avant-garde of ATC Training - Air Traffic Control Training has always been very traditional. The basic structure of the training has not seen any structural revolution since the introduction of the visual simulator in the late 90s. And even that revolution was only an upgrade of a training tool. The actual learning process and methodology has remained very much the same.
- New working group: WG-63 SG-2 / Safety Analysis Human Factors - Eurocae - EUROCAE WG-63 SG-2 "Safety Analysis Human Factors" has been created.
Reports and data
Research and innovation
- ACI-SESAR 3 JU Digital Transformation Award - The Digital Transformation Award, an initiative of the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking in collaboration with ACI EUROPE, will recognise a European airport that has embraced digitalisation, adopting innovative technologies and procedures to improve the safety, capacity, efficiency and environmental footprint of its airside operations.
- The Data Engineering Role. How is it different to Data Science? - Data engineering is a key enabler of the modern aviation industry as it underpins the process of collecting and analysing the vast amounts of data generated by the many complex systems involved in air travel. These systems cover aircraft sensors to weather stations and traffic control systems.
- Attention and virtual training - When COVID and mobility restrictions hit in 2020, virtual training (i.e. education in a virtual environment), where synchronised learning takes place, with everybody connected at the same time, sounded like a panacea for ab-initio air traffic control training, where ab-initio is defined as programs that take an individual with very little or no experience and create a competent, professional controller.
- Getting real about virtual centres - SESAR JU - The solution brings versatility in the delivery of air traffic services and supports service continuity in contingency situations. Virtual centres also promise more cost-effective service provision for airspace users since they enable ANSPs to better share resources thereby reduce capital expenditure.
- Reduced flight time and fuel burn on the cards with controller voice recognition tool - SESAR JU - SESAR researchers have turned to automatic speech recognition and understanding as a solution that can potentially save flight time and fuel burn, while alleviating controllers of some of their workload.
UAV and UTM
- ADW23: The business case for commercial drone operations - Whether or not the industry has a business case for many different types of drone operations was a consistent theme throughout Amsterdam Drone Week. One very interesting discussion on this topic was a panel with Droneup, Droniq, SkyGrid, Airbus, NS (the Netherlands Railway) and moderation by the GSMA.
- CORUS-XUAM final workshop, 29-30 March, agenda now available with online link - Unmanned airspace - The SESAR CORUS-XUAM Very Large Demonstration (VLD) project is organising the Final Workshop kindly hosted by Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale (DTA) to present the outcomes of six VLDs conducted in various European countries and the consolidated U-space ConOps developed jointly with all relevant SESAR2020 U-space related projects and in close coordination with the SESAR 3 JU U-space ConOps Coordination Cell.