In the years ahead, the aviation industry will be forced to deal with rising passenger numbers and increased flight volumes in the face of limited resources at airports and in the air. At a time of growing economic pressure on airlines to find ways to minimise cost where possible, the news of a SESAR JU project to use blockchain technology for more cost-efficient flight sequencing sounds very promising.
Together with EUROCONTROL, the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, University of Linz (Austria), and Swiss International Airlines, Frequentis aims to foster the emergence of a new kind of marketplace for flight exchange in Air Traffic Management (ATM). The platform to be developed by the SlotMachine consortium is expected to enable more flexible, faster, scalable, and (semi-) automated processing of flight sequence transactions in a fair and trustworthy way.
And, in the spirit of more cost-effective, innovative technology, we welcome the news of Belgium pioneering the introduction of an enhanced flight vision system operations in Europe. The SESAR AAL 2 project (Augmented Approaches to Land) facilitates and accelerates the deployment of EFVS operations (enhanced flight vision system) in European regional airports. This technology enables operations to be carried out in very poor visibility conditions.
EFVS operations are particularly useful for small and medium-sized airports because these they're often not equipped with CAT II or CAT III infrastructures, i.e. landing aids in case of insufficient visibility, due to the high investment costs involved.
We look forward to following the progress of these projects in the coming months. Are there any other, recent technologies that have piqued your interest? We'd love to hear about them!
- Transport Canada publishes five-year strategy for safe integration of drone operations into Canadian skies - Unmanned airspace - Transport Canada has published its vision for safe and secure integration of drone operations into Canadian skies as part of a modern national civil aviation system.
- BULATSA implements a new air traffic complexity management system - BULATSA implements a new air traffic complexity management system. The SESAR deployment modernization project 2015_217_AF4 aims at deploying the Traffic Complexity Assessment Tool in Sofia Area Control Centre. When the air traffic increases again, this tool will help to manage complex air traffic situations in Bulgaria and bring substantial performance benefits to the European aviation.
- Gweru Airport and PLM Middle East form strategic partnership - Gweru Airport (GWE) in Zimbabwe and PLM Middle East have formed a strategic partnership to develop the airport with an investment plan of nearly $176m.
- UK campaign groups and LLA support funds for airspace modernisation - Last week, the UK Government announced that it would provide around $7.59m (£5.5m) to airports under the airspace modernisation strategy to upgrade the present airspace structure and route network.
- US Federal Aviation to execute South-Central Florida Metroplex in April - The FAA has announced its plans to execute phase one of the South-Central Florida Metroplex for safe and efficient flight movements across the southern part of the state.
- New PRC Performance Insight on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the ANS system - EUROCONTROL - The independent Performance Review Commission has prepared a preliminary analysis or “Performance Insight” looking at the impact of this unprecedented crisis on the ANS system and the implications for the future.
- EUROCONTROL MUAC optimises airspace sectors to draw full benefit from free route airspace | EUROCONTROL - On the AIRAC date 25 March 2021, EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre successfully implemented a major overhaul of its airspace sector layout, which now better meets the European concept of free route airspace. The new airspace sector organisation is designed to better support higher traffic levels as soon as commercial schedules resume.
Reports and data
- EUROCONTROL Data Snapshot #8 - The eighth EUROCONTROL Data Snapshot is dedicated to how costs of air traffic management in Europe became disconnected from traffic around 2008.
Research and innovation
- SESAR JU project to use blockchain technology for more cost-efficient flight sequence - The SESAR JU-funded project SlotMachine aims to develop a solution, enabled by blockchain technology, to automate flight exchanges between different airlines. The research project comes at a time of growing economic pressure on airlines to find ways to minimise cost where possible.
- Belgium pioneer introduction of enhanced flight vision system operations in Europe - SESAR JU - In 2018, the main aviation stakeholders - airports, avionics and aircraft manufacturers, authorities and ANSPs joined forces in the SESAR AAL 2 project to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of EFVS operations in European regional airports. This technology enables operations to be carried out even in very poor visibility conditions.
UAV and UTM
- SESAR research partners launch TindAIR programme to demonstrate strategic and tactical conflict detection and resolution - Unmanned airspace - A new SESAR research programme called TindAIR plans very large scale demonstrations with a focus on strategic deconfliction. The TindAIR (Tactical INstrumental Deconfliction And In-flight Resolution) is coordinated by Innov’ATM under the aegis of the SESAR Joint Undertaking and involves companies and research organisations in France, Italy, Spain and the UK.
- Drone operations in Spanish airspace increase by more than 200% in the last year Drone operations in Spanish airspace increase by more than 200% in the last year - Activity in the drone sector has increased exponentially in recent years in Spain: in 2020 alone, the drone operations coordinated by ENAIRE totalled 1,646, a 207% increase compared to 2019 (536) and 362% more than in 2018 (358).
- Antwerp port adopts BVLOS operations following U-space research - SESAR JU - The Port of Antwerp has become one of the first seaports to initiate unmanned air traffic management in a busy and complex port environment and is the first non-aviation authority to become a fully-fledged geozone manager, according to a news release.
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