Weekly review #38 - February 28th

Picture of Vincent Lambercy
Posted by Vincent Lambercy

The outbreak of the Corona virus impacts various industries and air travel is no exception. How bad will it be for ANSPs and airports? It is hard to say at this time but with the funding models per flight or per passenger, seeing all flights to and from China getting cancelled already has an impact. Airlines are the first to get hit but the first effects on airport operators are here too. Fraport offers unpaid leaves and so do Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa.

Making an impact prediction is difficult but IATA tried. In this presentation, the association shows similarities with the SARS outbreak in 2003 and shows possible results, based on the hypothesis that the traffic will recover in a similar way. This shows how much importance the Asia region did gain over 17 years. Brace for impact. 

ANSP news

  • ​NAV CANADA reports January traffic figures - NAV CANADA announced today its traffic figures for the month of January 2020 as measured in weighted charging units for en route, terminal and oceanic air navigation services, in comparison to the last fiscal year. Traffic in January 2020 decreased by an average of 0.9 per cent compared to the same month in 2019. NAV CANADA's fiscal year runs from September 1 to August 31.
  • 100th anniversary of first control tower marks birth of air traffic control - The tower was built at what was then London’s main airport in Croydon and kick-started the development of air traffic control. A century later and NATS, as the UK’s main air traffic control service, manages 2.6 million flights a year carrying hundreds of millions of passengers.
  • EUROCONTROL, Israel and Cyprus validate airspace redesign to increase capacity and reduce delays - EUROCONTROL and partners from Israel and Cyprus recently conducted an airspace redesign simulation to validate a proposed new structure of the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport’s inbound and outbound routes going through Cyprus’ airspace, while ensuring that there will be no negative impact on capacity over Cyprus.
  • Gaute Riise takes over as Vice President of Traffic Development at Avinor - Gaute Riise is the new Vice President of Traffic Development at Avinor, taking over from Jasper Spruit. Riise starts in the position on March 1st.
  • AIRNAV Indonesia extends surveillance system - The current surveillance system needed upgrades in order to accommodate the air traffic in Indonesia’s vast airspace, which is larger than all of Europe. The airport was often struggling to accommodate all flights with a current limit of 81 aircraft movements per hour. With the extended system, the new terminal including buildings and aprons, new East Cross TWY and cargo apron area – in connection to the third runway, will all be covered.
  • FAA selects Thales for Mode-S radars replacement - The contract awarded to Leidos and Thales covers up to 142 Mode-S radar stations.
  • New SITTI VCS for DTCEA Brazil - In response to the increasing air traffic in the Brazilian skies and the related complexity of operations, the Brazilian air force (FAB – Forza Aerea Brasileira) decided to undergo a significant plan for upgrading the existing VCS (Voice Communication Systems) infrastructure already deployed nationwide. The upgrade is aiming at getting the many advantages of the VoIP architecture and protocol.
  • Project Greener Air Traffic Operations' (GreAT) held its launch event at the German Aerospace Center DLR - On 19 and 20 February 2020, the new project 'Greener Air Traffic Operations' (GreAT) held its launch event at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Flight Guidance in Braunschweig, Germany. This European-Chinese research and innovation project aims to reduce the impact of air transport on climate change.
  • IATA analysis and predictions on the impact of the Corona virus - IATA presentation trying to evaluate the possible impact of the Corona virus on the airlines industry. One projection is based on the numbers from the SARS virus back in 2003.

Airports news

  • ADP acquires 49% of GMR - The Indian GMR operates seven airports in three countries (India, Philippines and Greece), including Delhi International Airport and Hyderabad International Airport and Mactan-Cebu Airport

Research and innovation

  • EUROCONTROL use of LIDAR - LIDAR can be used to evaluate measure wake turbulence and build a wake vortex database.
  • EUROCONTROL updated capacity analysis tool PITA Neo - PIATA Neo allows to make detailed data analyses and has a dedicated modelling facility. The airport capacity assessments focus on runway throughput, supplemented by an operational evaluation of taxi, apron and Terminal Manoeuvring Area (TMA) operations.


  • ​NAV CANADA signs strategic agreement with Unifly - NAV CANADA has entered into an agreement with Unifly, a strategic technology partner, in the deployment of a national system that provides digital services for safely operating and managing drones in Canadian airspace. This fully digitised system makes the process of requesting authorisation to fly in controlled airspace easier and faster for qualified drone pilots. The app will also benefit airlines and general aviation pilots, as it reduces the risk of accidental drone incursions.

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