In a huge step-change in global air traffic management, London City is announced as the first major airport controlled by a remote digital tower.
All flights on the summer schedule are being guided to land or take off from the heart of the London Docklands business district by air traffic controllers 115km away at NATS’ air traffic control centre in Swanwick, Hampshire using an ‘enhanced reality’ view supplied by a state-of-the-art 50m digital control tower.
This is a significant technological and operational achievement, especially against the backdrop of COVID-19.
In other news, we all know that reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint is one of our biggest challenges. While the greatest CO2 savings can be made with advancements in aircraft and engine technology, managing airspace more efficiently can play a crucial role in ‘building back better’ once the public start flying again.
So, it's great to hear of NATS using data to identify ways to improve sustainability and track airspace efficiency.
Given much of the aviation industry has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, they have taken the decision to share their 3Di metric with the wider industry to help them further understand the efficiency of their operation and where environmental improvements can be made.
Give it a read and let us know your thoughts.
We also saw that new guidelines for airports have been developed by EUROCONTROL’s Operational Excellence Programme, in an effort to make operations more predictable during adverse weather.
Bad weather remains the main reason for air traffic flow management delay at European airports. To tackle this, EUROCONTROL together with a wide representation of operational stakeholders has developed 14 recommendations showing how airports can improve their operational response to adverse weather conditions.
It's great to see the drive for real change, in order to better manage adverse weather at airports by taking a coordinated, collaborative network view.
- Hungary’s air traffic control systems received a 22 million EUR upgrade - One of the most significant investments of HungaroControl has been completed, where the company's air navigation and voice communication systems and controller working positions have been completely renewed in the last six months.
- Danube FAB - Sixteenth Meeting of the DANUBE FAB Governing Bodies - DANUBE FAB Governing Bodies held their sixteenth meetings on the 27th and 28th of April. During this meeting, attendees were updated on projects which have recently been completed within the FAB, i.e. the inclusion of Slovakian airspace in SEE FRA. DANUBE FAB also completed the deployment of Voice Over Internet Protocol and Datalink Services above FL285.
- Making operations more predictable during adverse weather - EUROCONTROL - Bad weather remains the main reason for air traffic flow management delay at European airports. To tackle this, EUROCONTROL together with a wide representation of operational stakeholders has developed 14 recommendations showing how airports can improve their operational response to adverse weather conditions.
- London City is first major airport controlled by remote digital tower - NATS - London City Airport has become the first major international airport in the world to be fully controlled by a remote digital air traffic control tower, following intensive testing and live trials of the revolutionary technology during the lockdown.
- Cranfield Becomes First Airport To Deploy Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM Enterprise Platform - Altitude Angel, today announced Cranfield University’s global research airport in collaboration with Cranfield Airport Operations Limited, is the first aerodrome to deploy its next-generation airspace management solution - GuardianUTM Enterprise into service.
- Air traffic optimisation leader, Orthogon, joins FREQUENTIS Group in first step of L3Harris acquisition - The former L3Harris Orthogon, based in Bremen, will now operate as Frequentis Orthogon. The company’s software benefits todays crowded air traffic environment through the flexible use of resources to reduce controller workload and manage air traffic queues safely and efficiently.
- FREQUENTIS acquires parts of the ATM product segment from L3Harris Technologies - Frequentis AG has announced today that it had signed an agreement to acquire the ATM voice communications and arrival management product business from the US company L3Harris Technologies for a purchase price of USD 20.1 million subject to customary net debt and working capital based purchase price adjustments at Closing.
- Using data to identify ways to improve sustainability and track airspace efficiency - Ian Jopson, Head of Sustainable Operations at NATS, explains how NATS uses its flight efficiency insight metric – 3Di – to identify the efficiency of the UK airspace, track performance and set targets for improvement.
Reports and data
- Air Transport Data Bulletin – April 2021 - In this quarterly publication you will find facts and figures about the civil aviation industry, based on data extracted from our air transport databases.
- Dubai International Airport enjoys ‘relatively positive’ Q1 - Total flight movements during the first quarter totalled 50,176, down 38.3% from last year reflecting the impact of the pandemic on airline operations.
Research and innovation
- InterFAB Expert Talk rethinks the delay indicators - Flight delays result in costs for airlines and passengers; however, the methodology to assess the cost of one minute of ATFM delay was developed nearly 20 years ago. This was the subject of an InterFAB study, presented by Giuseppe Antonio Gangemi, Head of Performance Analysis at ENAV at the third InterFAB Expert Talk.
UAV and UTM
- Concept of operations on-demand capacity balancing in U-space now available - Unmanned airspace - The SESAR Joint Undertaking Demand And Capacity for U-space optimisation project have completed the first draft of a concept of operations for demand and capacity balancing in U-space. For safe and efficient operations on a daily basis, future drone ecosystems will need mechanisms to balance demand and capacity.
- uAvionix receives patent for ADS-B Inert and Alert capability for unmanned systems - Unmanned airspace - uAvionix has been granted a patent for its ‘Intelligent non-disruptive ADS-B integration for unmanned aircraft systems. US patent 10,991,260 provides the ability for UAS to take advantage of the safety benefits of ADS-B while minimizing spectrum utilization, aiding the safe and secure integration of UAS into National Airspace Systems, says a uAvionix press release.
- German drone operations benefit from permanent flight permits for predefined operations - Germany’s Unmanned Traffic Management company and drone service provider Droniq GmbH (a joint venture between DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung and Deutsche Telekom) has applied for a license for nationwide radio tower inspections in a joint programme with DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH.
- Irish Aviation Authority launches consultation on rules for drones in the Dublin area - Unmanned airspace - The Irish Aviation Authority has launched a public consultation on proposed changes to the Unmanned Aircraft System geographical zone for the Dublin area, which is the busiest airspace in the country.
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