2020 just started and before we dive into news, let me wish you a happy new year :-)
Airport inaugurations are not very frequent in Europe, so the start of operations at Scandinavian Mountains Airport is an event by itself. But there is more: this is the first airport designed and created without an ATC tower. The airport has a remote, digital tower operated by SDATS, the joint venture of SAAB and LFV. The combination of an ANSP and an industry partner proven successful again. You will find more information on remote towers and the future of digital ATC in the Context Information section below.
- NATS handled less traffic in November - The UK ANSP reported handling 2.3% less traffic in November 2019 compared the previous year. The traffic at airports remains stable. On the oceanic traffic increased, possible an effect of the separation reduction thanks to ADS-B?
- India DGCA issues licenses to ATCOs - Until now, the Indian ANSP (Airports Authority of India) was issuing licences to they own ATCOs. This task is now taken over by the regulator.
- Short glitch in Hong-Kong ATC system - Workstations were "unresponsive" and ATCOs used the fallback system until the main system got restored. There was no risk to safety.
- DFS change their board of directors - Robert Schickling, "Director of Operations" leaves the company after 28 years. A new position of "Director of Technology" is created to foster digital transformation. Friedrich-Wilhelm Menge will come from the company running public transport in Berlin to hold this new position.
- Estonia ANS awards Frequentis an AIS contract - It is a two-year project during which most of the systems used in briefing and AIP will be significantly improved and upgraded.
- FlightAware reaches 25’000 receivers
- FREQUENTIS Comsoft wins EUROCONTROL contract for ARTAS maintenance - The company will continue the central maintenance of the EUROCONTROL tracker.
- SITTI Delivers first lot VCSs to india - This delivery of 10 systems is the first lot and will allow Airports Authority of India to validate that the products meet their requirements.
- Ethiopian Airlines Group selects Micro Nav for their new ATC simulators - The group runs both the airline and the Ethiopian ANSP and awarded Micro Nav a contract for new ATC simulators.
- The US FAA introduces "private" ICAO addresses program - Private aircraft operators have issues about getting tracked. With this new step - which goes agains the very concept of airframe address - they can received a new ICAO 24 bits address for each flight. This will make public tracking of flights on sites like flightradar24 and flightaware impossible, except for the operators. It is limited to the US for now.
- EUROCONTROL now uses actual route flown when calculating route charges - Until now, route charges were based on the filed route and this lead to some last minute changes with negative side effects on the flight crews and ATCOs.
- Connected airports conference by ACI and EUROCONTROL - This conference will take place at EUROCONTROL on the 27th of February with an impressive list of panelists from airlines, airports and industry.
- EUROCONTROL - are physical towers dead? - Will remote and digital towers replace physical ones? Here is EUROCONTROL's view and state of the research on this topic.
- FREQUENTIS: beyond digital tower towards virtual center - This long article by FREQUENTIS summarises the current state of ATM systems and discusses how digitalisation will make the link from tower to approach and ultimately centers.
UAV and UTM
- PANSA has started production tests of PansaUTM - a system supporting the digital coordination of the UAV flights - The Polish ANSP now offers digital services for UAV flights in parallel to the current "manual" processes.
- Less drone incidents in Germany - The German ANSP DFS reports a slightly lower number of drone-related incidents around airports between January and November 2019 compared to 2018.
- SenseFly drone lexicon - If you are new to the drones industry, this lexicon will help you to learn the required vocabulary.
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