Weekly Review #235 - Airspace World 2024 was a soaring success

Picture of Vincent Lambercy
Posted by Vincent Lambercy
Airspace World 2024 is over. And it was a good one!
CANSO's annual exhibition took place Geneva last week. The first big change was that it lasted for three full days, while in previous years, it ran for two and a half days only. Before, the final half day was almost lost. Very few visitors were still present and some exhibitors started to dismantle their booths early. But not anymore. The extra half day gives exhibitors' staff manning the stands time to explore and see a bit more. 
From a content perspective, remote and digital towers are now a usual thing and virtual centers are coming. It is clear that drones are here to stay and we now see more and more UTM systems coming. Some are still prototypes and others in early use or at testing stages. An interesting aspect is that this part of the industry seems a bit more open to collaboration and partnerships compared to traditional ATM. As one example, check the partnership announcement between Unifly andSkypuzzler. In short, one company will provide algorithms to the other one, facilitating their UTM development when it comes to BVLOS. Would you expect this kind of cooperation in ATM?
Outside of technology, it becomes clearer and clearer that our industry has a problem attracting new talents. And so, the work FoxATM is doing with EUROCAE's workgroup 125 will be of critical importance in the future. ANSPs must attract new talents while also retaining their existing workforce. Times are changing and people staying in one job for a whole career is more often the exception than the norm. And this also applies to ATCOs and other front-line workers, too.
Finally, on a more personal note, I did receive very positive feedback about our podcast, which this was heartwarming. We restarted it after a break, with an episode about safety management, and we'll have new ones coming soon. So stay tuned! We also come back from Geneva with more users of our Market Radar, which is a testament of the good work we have been doing over the last four years in terms of market intelligence.
Airspace World 2024 is in the books and we are already looking forward to the next one. Lisbon 2025, here we come!


ANSP news

  • NAV CANADA joins the iTEC Alliance to foster more efficient and sustainable aviation - NAV CANADA is joining the iTEC Alliance and gives further momentum to an initiative that brings together some of the world’s leading air navigation service providers. With this important partnership, iTEC has reached beyond the European borders for the first time and continues its cooperative venture to create a more efficient and environment-friendly generation of air traffic management systems.
  • FREQUENTIS and ENAV elevate airport efficiency and sustainability in Milan with Arrival Manager - ENAV has announced the Frequentis AMAN has transformed approach flights within the Milan Area Control Centre, responsible for the airspace over north-west Italy. By dynamically calculating Estimated Landing Times (ELDT) and updating Target Landing Times (TLDT), this innovative system assists air traffic controllers in sequencing arrivals, reducing flight time, and promoting fuel conservation at Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, and Bergamo Orio al Serio airports.
  • Free Route Airspace between Italy and Southeast Europe - Crocontrol - On March 21, 2024, Cross-Border Free Route Airspace was established between South East Common Sky Initiative Free Route Airspace and Italian airspace. It enables the users to plan their flights no matter the borders of Flight Information Regions, i.e. Areas of Responsibility of individual sectors. Cross-border FRA operations will be available H24 between FRAIT and SECSI FRA, from FL195/FL205 to FL660, depending on the respective state, i.e. Air Navigation Service Provider.

Market news

Context information

  • Aireon Launches Safety Dashboard - Aireon is ushering in a new era of data analytics with the release of the first of its Data Dashboard products – Safety Dashboard. This new dashboard will support and enhance air navigation service providers’ safety assurance programs by identifying leading indicators of the industry’s biggest operational risks.

Reports and data

  • NAV CANADA reports February 2024 traffic figure - In February 2024, excluding the effect of an extra day for the leap year, weighted charging units were higher on average by 6.1 percent compared to the same month in 2023.
  • HKIA Records Significant Growth in Passenger Traffic in February - Airport Authority Hong Kong released air traffic figures for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for February 2024. During the month, HKIA handled 4.2 million passengers and 27,615 flight movements, representing increases of 96.5% and 69.3%, respectively, when compared with the low base in the same month last year.
  • Impact analysis of flight restrictions for Brussels Airport - Brussels Airport is the main airport in Belgium, with 178,930 flights in 2022 and as many as 234,460 flights before the Covid pandemic in 2019. This number is expected to increase annually. In this study, together with Walter J.J. Manshanden, we analysed the effect of two operating restrictions for Brussels Airport: A limitation of the total number of flights to 220,000 flights/year, also known as a flight restriction and the ban on night flights.

Research and innovation

  • Saerco and DataBeacon launch an initiative targeting the modernization and digitization for Air Traffic Management - Datascience.aero - Saerco and DataBeacon announce the award of the project “AI and Digitization for sustainable and efficient air traffic”; an innovative initiative aimed at revolutionizing ATM at airports. This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Spanish CDTI within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism.
  • FREQUENTIS boosts aviation audio quality with AI enhancement - Frequentis and its cooperation partner, Augmented Hearing, based in Denmark, have been working together to develop an artificial intelligence based audio enhancement suitable for the aviation industry.
  • DataBeacon and uAvionix collaborate to deliver cloud situational awareness with ADS-B data - Unmanned airspace - DataBeacon and uAvionix plan to make available uAvionix’s FlightLine ADS-B data from cooperative aircraft as a sensor feed for DataBeacon’s Remeo5 airport and ANSP Flight Information Display solution. The data provides enhanced situational awareness to air traffic service providers by visualizing the traffic in the airspace they manage, while mimimising their infrastructure investments. Reliable traffic feeds are a key enabler for airports and ANSP’s wishing to take advantage of new surveillance technologies.
  • Engage 2 opens the first call for Catalyst Funding in Air Traffic Management - SESAR JU - Catalyst funds provide financial support and access to industry collaboration environments. This fosters closer ties between industry and researchers during the crucial early stages of concept development, helping promising ideas reach higher maturity levels. Proposals demonstrating original contributions to ATM are encouraged, either directly addressing a pre-defined thematic challenge or focusing on open, innovative concepts.
  • Important milestone reached on satellite-based communications - SESAR JU - In December 2023, the International Telecommunication Union World Radiocommunication Conference approved the spectrum allocation for future space-based VHF communications services and surveillance for air traffic management. This will allow SESAR to make significant strides forward to deliver satellite-based solutions for optimising air traffic control. This historical event opens the way for innovation and significant improvements in air traffic control by allowing the use of satellites to provide aeronautical services in oceanic and remote areas.


  • GUTMA Safety Task Force releases "USSP’s Safety Support Assessment” - The GUTMA Safety Task Force has unveiled a significant milestone: the USSPs’ Safety Support Assessment document. This initiative aims to standardize the process by which USSPs engage with authorities regarding the scope of their safety assessments. This document represents a collaborative effort within the industry to ensure consistency and clarity in safety protocols across various jurisdictions.