First up, the FAA announced it will optimise and manage the airspace in the vicinity of launch sites. It said that it will rely on a set of objective factors to better balance the needs of launch licensees, airlines, general aviation and the military while minimising disruptions. At the end of June, the agency will bring together the aviation and space industries to collaborate, and will later launch the Airspace Access Priorities Aviation Rulemaking Committee.
There's more news of the space industry, this time from New Zealand. NASA successfully launched a stadium-sized super pressure balloon from Wānaka Airport, with Airways New Zealand safely managing its ascent to the edge of space. The balloon carries a payload of about 2.2 tonnes and features a Princeton University space telescope which images large galaxy clusters to map dark matter. NASA’s Balloon Program Office chief, Debbie Fairbrother, said, 'The super pressure balloon technology is a real game-changer for conducting cutting-edge science at the edge of space at a fraction of the cost of flying into space.'
Next up, there's exciting news from Norway, where the Avinor Group have been making strides in airspace safety. With the installation of around 200 Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) antennas on mountain tops and at airports across Norway, the project is one of the world's largest and most complex of its kind. It will result in the replacement of about half of Norway’s conventional radars, which only look outwards and upwards. WAM antennas also look downwards - with Norway’s numerous fjords and valleys, the new technology makes it possible for pilots and air traffic services to better collaborate.
And from our own blog, we have some insights into aviation in the Netherlands. In 'Small country, big impact: Why the Netherlands is an aviation powerhouse' we look at the country's history, as well as the practices and attitudes that continue to shape its success in the industry.
- New WAM technology makes the Norwegian airspace safer - The Avinor Group - Avinor has completed the installation of about 200 WAM antennas (Wide Area Multilateration) on mountain tops and at airports across Norway. The new technology will replace about half of Norway’s conventional radars. The project is one of the world's largest and most complex of its kind.
- FAA Takes Steps to Optimize, Provide Equitable Access to In-Demand Airspace Near Launch Sites - Due to the increasing pace of space activity, the FAA is taking steps to optimize and equitably manage the airspace in the vicinity of launch sites. The agency will rely on a set of objective factors to better balance the needs of launch licensees, as well as airlines, general aviation and the military to minimize disruptions.
- Airways partners with NASA for balloon launch - NASA has today successfully launched a stadium-sized super pressure balloon from Wānaka Airport, with Airways New Zealand safely managing its ascent to the edge of space.
- Airways NZ - Divergent Missed Approach Protection System - The Divergent Missed Approach Protection System (DMAPS) is a set of air traffic management procedures designed to make flights safer and more efficient for air travellers.
- Mario Kunovec-Varga Appointed New Director General of CCL - Crocontrol - On April 13, 2023, Croatia Control's (CCL) Supervisory Board appointed Mario Kunovec-Varga, MSc as the new Director General of Croatia Control.
- Saudi Arabia plans 4 airport PPP projects - British Aviation Group - Saudi Arabia announced that it plans to tender four new airport projects under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as part of a bigger pipeline of 200 privatisation and PPP projects across 17 sectors announced by the National Centre for Privatisation and PPP.
Reports and data
- Fraport Traffic Figures – March 2023: Passenger Growth Continues - Aircraft movements climbed by 19.2 percent year-on-year to 32,125 takeoffs and landings.
- Air traffic grows but remains below normal levels - The Avinor Group - The number of aircraft movements is only 7 per cent lower than the equivalent pre-pandemic figure.
Research and innovation
- SESAR Innovation: Assuring safety in low-level airspace - Equipped with accurate flight information, the mythical Greek figure Icarus could have avoided flying too close to the sun, a path that caused his wings to melt and sent him tumbling into the sea. SESAR’s integrated common altitude reference system for U-space exploratory research project protects against such mishaps by ensuring manned and unmanned airspace users access the same altitude reference system.
- SESAR Innovations: Presenting flight labels in a new light reduces controller workload - At any one time, air traffic controllers may have up to twenty aircraft on their screen depending on traffic conditions and the day of the week. While the number of aircraft that a controller can manage is capped to ensure safe handling of traffic, the situation remains demanding and complex. This is where the innovative SESAR solution, attention guidance, comes in. An algorithm built into the system that can remove potentially non-conflictual aircraft from the controller monitoring by changing the label to a fade-out colour.
- The only tool you need for scaling Big Data in Aviation - In an era of big data, aerospace data analysis helps the aviation industry by improving data assets and advancing new lines of innovation. These advances lead to the generation of more data, which also enriches the system. For this reason, more computing and more processing speed are needed each time.
- The MISTRAL Group commits to the operational deployment of Space4Earth - M3 Systems - The Mistral Group announced the operational deployment of Space4Earth, its new corporate mission that aims to define the future of geolocated positioning by 2030. By combining the key expertise of its subsidiaries M3 SYSTEMS and BOREAL SAS, which are respectively specialized in satellite geolocation and experimental and aerial surveillance drones, the Mistral Group has taken the first major step towards achieving this ambitious project.
- SESAR Innovation: Modelling climate-optimized trajectories to cut non-CO2 climate effects - Under Dr Matthes’ leadership, the SESAR FlyATM4E project investigated climate optimised aircraft trajectories that mitigate the impact of non-CO2 emissions based on analysis of flight data during different meteorological conditions, vertical, and horizontal flight paths.
UAV and UTM
- High Lander Universal UTM system successfully tested in busy Israeli airspace - As part of the March 2023 Israel National Drone Initiative, High Lander installed a Universal UTM monitor into the control centre of Ground Control Unit 506, which is responsible for policing all air traffic in the north of Israel. For an entire week, base personnel took advantage of a system specifically designed to monitor and coordinate drone activity.