Weekly Review #227 - New York air taxi first flight, lapland peak season and ATCO recruitment troubles

Picture of Vincent Lambercy
Posted by Vincent Lambercy

ANSPs are facing a “huge challenge” in recruiting air traffic controllers. We’ve written about this before on FoxATM - see ATC Training is changing (for the better). In this week’s news round-up up FAB CE talks about the new strategy it has deployed for recruiting and training new controllers.

Ivalo Airport in Finland has switched from a procedural Air Traffic Service (ATS) system to a radar-based ATS system. The move by Fintraffic Air Navigation Services aims to handle increased seasonal traffic in Lapland and provide smoother air control services. The radar-based system allows for continuous descents and take-offs, saving airlines fuel costs and reducing environmental emissions. It's a change even Santa Claus would applaud, given his busy Lapland schedule every Christmas!

Start spreading the news: Joby Aviation, an American eVTOL manufacturer, successfully conducted the first electric air taxi flight in New York City. The demonstration occurred at Manhattan's Downtown Heliport, marking the vehicle's first urban exhibition. Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to electrify the city's heliport during the event. The city is an anticipated early market for Joby's services, in partnership with Delta Air Lines.

Frequentis and Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) announced their collaboration to optimise air traffic management (ATM) using data analytics and AI, aiming to increase safety, efficiency, and punctuality. This project will support Saudi Arabian aviation sector growth by addressing workflow inadequacies and information deficits.

ANSP news

  • Attracting suitable ATCO candidates: FAB CE develops new strategy for recruitment, training and retention - Most air navigation service providers face a huge challenge in recruiting air traffic controllers, as the current generation of candidates has a different attitude from previous generations to extensive vocational training and long-term career paths. It takes at least three years to train a controller and drop-out rates are unusually high among many ANSPs. In a new report “FAB CE ANSPs ATCO Selection Criteria and Process Benchmarking” FAB CE ANSPs have addressed this challenge and developed a series of recommendations on recruitment and training.
  • ENAIRE and AirNav Ireland share good air traffic management practices - ENAIRE and AirNav Ireland, its counterpart entity in Ireland, held a meeting today at the highest level to share practices and modes of business organization as those responsible for air traffic, as well as explore opportunities for collaboration.
  • FAA Takes Actions to Address Independent Safety Review Team’s Recommendations - The team examined the FAA’s internal safety processes, staffing levels and practices, and facility and equipment needs. The FAA is taking immediate actions.
  • Free Routing Airspace in Africa inches closer to reality as trial flights start - CANSO - Cooperation, collaboration, and commitment of stakeholders, including CANSO, AFRAA, IATA, ICAO, and African Air Navigation Service Providers, made free routing flights a reality for the first time in Africa on 2 November. In the Free Routing Airspace Trial kick-off workshop, participants coordinated with all relevant operational services and secured approvals for the two trial flights. Shortening the flight time, flights ET935 and KQ 508 operated safely outside the existing routes directly from Addis Ababa to Abidjan and Nairobi to Accra, respectively.
  • Smoother air traffic control service for the seasonal airport in Lapland: radar-based Air Traffic Service into operation in Ivalo - At the beginning of October, the air traffic service at Ivalo Airport transitioned from a procedural Air Traffic Service system to a radar-based ATS system. The change is Fintraffic Air Navigation Services Ltd's response to the growing needs of seasonal traffic in Lapland. Through the transition it also strives to ensure a smoother air control service for airlines and other airspace users. What does the change mean in practice and what benefits does it bring?

Market news

Reports and data

Research and innovation

  • From ConOps to validated higher airspace solutions: ECHO2 kicks off at EUROCONTROL - ECHO, the SESAR project co-funded by the EU designed to enable safe, efficient and scalable operations above conventional flight levels, has just launched its second phase with the official Kick-off Meeting of ECHO2 taking place at EUROCONTROL’s Brussels HQ on 29 September attended by the 23 ECHO partners led by EUROCONTROL, and the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking.
  • Artificial Intelligence to optimise Saudi Arabian air traffic management - Frequentis and Saudi Air Navigation Services have been exploring potential operational efficiency gains through digital and data operations analysis. Aim is to develop modifications and a technology strategy to enhance a set of objectives including safety, efficiency, and punctuality, to increase airspace throughput. Planning, tactical, engineering, and operational procedures were analysed for workflow enhancements. Project will support grand vision for Saudi Arabian aviation sector growth.