Slovenian ANSP upgrades area and terminal control with Frequentis software

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Frequentis has been tasked by Slovenia Control, the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) for Slovenia, to upgrade the software of the ANSP’s Safety Nets for area and terminal control to provide enhanced performance, safety and alerting functions.

Using both flight plan data and current position data, PRISMA-NET (as the Safety Nets system is called) will provide controllers clear alerts of potential safety issues and is fully integrated into Slovenia Control’s ATM environment. The system also helps ensure safe take-offs, transits and landings and detects deviations from planned course and altitude, depending on the flight data processing system (FDPS).

In 2005, Slovenia Control became the second customer to use the PRISMA_SNET, operational at their air control centre (ACC) at Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport. The latest upgrade, contracted in December 2021, will meet all the specific requirements of Slovenia Control.

Referencing the partnership, Slobodan Opacic, Head of the Development Department at Slovenia Control said: ” Slovenia Control’s fundamental guiding principle is to attain, maintain and constantly raise our safety levels and targets. For many years now, Frequentis Comsoft has been a reliable partner for achieving these goals. We look forward to working together on future projects.”

PRISMA-SNET provides a common framework that supports functions such as short-term conflict alerting (STCA) minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW), area proximity warning (APW), cleared level adherence monitoring (CLAM) and route adherence monitor (RAM), depending on FDPS input.

 

Header image: Slovenia Control HQ

Airservices Australia extends partnership with Frequentis for voice communication system

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Frequentis has been contracted by Airservices Australia for a Bypass Voice Communication System (BVCS) to be used in the Civil Military Air Traffic Management System (CMATS). As part of the OneSKY Program, the new system will replace the current systems with one advanced, unified solution.

Jason Harfield, CEO Airservices Australia, explained that Airservices is transforming how air traffic management is delivered in Australia through the OneSKY program. “The program will enable a number of capabilities to airspace users, including business continuity, shared use airspace, trajectory-based operations and route optimisation. A key milestone for OneSKY is the voice communication solution, which is provided by Frequentis. The BVCS will further enhance reliability and resilience, providing a backup capability to more than 200 operator positions for our en-route and terminal area operations,” he said.

Frequentis previously provided Airservices with its VCS technology at Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in 2019, when it replaced Airservices’ legacy communication system with its VOIP-based system, VCS2030X. Frequentis also provides the Main VCS and Airfield Management System for the Royal Australian Air Force sites included in CMATS. The company will now provide an independent IT-based backup VCX for Airservices sites, which doesn’t share the same software, hardware or interfaces as the main VCS.

Martin Rampl, Managing Director at Frequentis Australasia, said, “The BVCS will allow Airservices to continue to use the full CMATS capability and flexibility enabled by an IT VCS solution that supports the key objectives of CMATS, as well as resolving any potential obsolescence and support issues.”

Header image: Jason Harfield, Airservices CEO attended the Frequentis headquarters in Vienna to sign the contract with Hannu Juurako, Frequentis VP ATM Civil and Chairman of the ATM Executive Board and Margin Rampl, Managing Director Frequentis Australasia. 

FIA2022: British consortium to advance AAM in the UK

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Skyports has joined a consortium of British aviation companies that have been awarded £9.5m in government funding to demonstrate the commercial and operational viability of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).  The news was announced at this week’s Farnborough Airshow taking place in Hampshire, UK.

The vertiport specialist is joined by a stellar line-up in the consortium, including Cranfield University, Vertical Aerospace, Virgin Atlantic, Atkins and NATS. Together the organisations will develop key technology and infrastructure in a project that will significantly accelerate the introduction of AAM in the UK. The £9.5m grant awarded by the UK Government’s Future Flight Challenge will help develop the essential building blocks of a viable AAM ecosystem that has the potential to be progressed into full commercial operations. To demonstrate the feasibility of a UK AAM ecosystem, Virgin Atlantic will operate Vertical Aerospace’s emission-free VX4eVTOL aircraft with two physical flights taking place initially between Bristol Airport and an airfield in South West England, as well as between London Heathrow and Skyports’ ‘Living Lab’ vertiport. A third simulation flight will demonstrate urban connectivity between London City and Bristol airports.

The ‘Living Lab’ vertiport will be a testbed for ground, passenger and air operations for the duration of the project with the aim to materially accelerate the development of AAM services and establish the UK as a leader in the design and operation of vertiport infrastructure.

Skyports CEO, Duncan Walker, said: “Just as airports are critical to commercial aeroplane travel, vertiports are critical to AAM. Our Living Lab will be a central component of the consortium, enabling Skyports and partners to demonstrate end-to-end operations and test the complexities of developing a commercially viable AAM network in the UK.”

Walker was joined by Holly Boyd-Boland, VP Corporate Development at Virgin Atlantic who noted: “As the only airline in the consortium, Virgin Atlantic brings 38 years of operational excellence, a relentless focus on safety and security, and an unrivalled focus on the end-to-end customer journey.”

The consortium will be led by Atkins, who will be responsible for technical management and integration of the two-year programme as it moves AAM form concept stage towards implementation. James Richmond, Head of AAM at Atkins concluded: “This is an exciting leap forward for AAM. This project brings together experts from across the industry to maintain the UK’s leading position in the future of aviation, moving us closer to commercial operations that will connect regions and contribute to the UK’s net-zero targets.”

Farnborough Airshow has seen Skyports announce a total of five projects across its drone operations and vertiport infrastructure work. Other announcements include Skyports Drone Services winning four projects: CAELUS, ALIAS, Cornwall Open Skies and Skyway.

WATM: ASECNA expands Aireon data usage to deepen ATM capabilities across Africa

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The Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) is developing its air traffic management (ATM) capabilities thanks to an expanded portfolio of products from Aireon, a provider of space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) services.

ASECNA plans to use AereonFLOW for air traffic flow management capabilities, to help extend visibility of flights outside its busy airspace and help better predict traffic flows planning to enter in its airspace.

“ASECNA has proven its leadership in the world for air traffic surveillance and safety,” said Don Thoma, Aireon CEO. “they were an early-adopter of ADS-B and now they are the first ANSP in Africa to plan usage of AireonFLOW,” he continued.

Already in operation with Eurocontrol, AireonFLOW provides gate-to-gate, high-fidelity ATS surveillance data, which, whcn combined with flight and airspace contextual information, enhances prediction capabilities of flow management and other relevant air traffic capacity and demand platforms.

Mohamed Moussa, Director General of ASECNA, commented: “This new capability is completely aligned with the ASECNA  strategy of a Single African Airspace. By having the ability to extend traffic visibility outside ASECNA airspace, the African continent will be aligning ATFM capabilities with Europe and the US, using state-of-the-art technologies to evolve and accommodate traffic demand, avoiding delays and reducing its carbon footprint.”

WATM: CAELUM partners with Frequentis to develop South Korea’s UTM market

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South Korean company, CAELUM, has agreed to collaborate with Frequentis on urban air mobility (UAM) and uncrewed traffic management (UTM) solutions in South Korea.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the growing need for next-generation traffic management systems capable of handling the unique challenges of UAM technologies, including flexible use of airspace.

“Urban air mobility represents the next frontier of aerospace and defence innovation,” said CAELUM CEO, Michael Kwon. “We are confident that by combining CAELUM’s in-house technologies with Frequentis’ ATM expertise and products, we will be able to deliver a first-in-Korea and potentially first-in-the-world – robust, efficient and safety-oriented UTM system.”

In line with their agreement, CAELUM will also serve as Frequentis’ local partner in the South Korean market. This includes supporting localisation of Frequentis’ MosaiX solution, integration support for aviation and transportation centres, and introduction of solutions to new regional markets.

Frequentis’ Vice President New Business Development, Guenter Graf, noted that with the UTM market growing working in partnership with organisations is key to leveraging growth in this sector. “We are pleased to be discussing the next steps in our collaboration with CAELUM to support the integration of ATM and UTM in Korea,” he said.

Kenya Airways subsidiary to scale urban air mobility with 40 eVTOL order

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Fahari Aviation, a Kenya Airways Subsidiary and Eve, a start-up backed by Embraer, have agreed to scale up urban air mobility (UAM) with an order of up to 40 eVTOLs for both passenger and cargo traffic.

The agreement includes joint studies through a working group to develop and scale the UAM market and a business model for cargo drone operations in Kenya. The project is expected to start deliveries in 2026.

“Urban air mobility is the future of transport and we are honoured to be the champions of this in the region,” said Allan Kilavuka, Group Managing Director & CEO Kenya Airways. “The journey to realise the dream of eVTOL vehicles in Kenya is on course and the partnership with EVE UAM, is a key achievement for us as part of the strategy to adopt new technologies as a growth strategy for the sustainable development of Africa.

Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve, added that this collaboration marks a new chapter of the Eve and Fahari Aviation partnership to further develop and support the ecosystem for UAM in Kenya. “Last year, we announced a collaboration to develop operational models for Fahari Aviation’s key markets and today’s announcement confirms that it is evolving successfully,” he said.

 

WATM: France selects Frequentis remote digital tower

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Direction des Services de la Navigation Aerienne (DSNA), the French air navigation services provider has appointed Frequentis to supply its Remote Digital Tower (RDT) solution in France.

Located in a remote tower centre (RTC) in Toulouse, the RDT solution will initially manage air traffic 500km away for Tours Val de Loire Airport in north-western France.

The solution, which is based on Frequentis’ smartVISION product already in operation in six coutnries, will allow the airport to preserve passenger traffic and ultimately increase it three-fold. The solution includes on-site video technology at the airport, central equipment in the RTC in Toulouse-Blagnac Airport with several working positions and a test system for training.

Hannu Juurakko, Frequentis Vice President ATM Civil and Chairman of the ATM Executive Board, commented: “We are pleased to be working with DSNA on its airport strategy, supporting passenger growth in the region. The potential for more regional airports to be housed in the same centre in future increases the operational efficiency of the solution and the region’s air traffic capacity.”

Formerly used as a French Air Force base, Tours-Val-de-Loire Airport is now operated as an international hub capable of handling 150,000 passengers per year. With the departure of military ATC from the airport in 2021, the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) opted to concentrate on preserving commercial lines of traffic. The deployment of the RDT technology feeding back to high definition screens in Toulouse. The solution will enable the airport to develop passenger numbers up to 500,000 by 2035.

WATM: Al Ula Airport to become first Middle East hub to deploy remote tower technology

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Technological engineering company, Indra, and Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) have agreed to develop and operate the first virtual control tower to enter service in the Middle East at Al Ula International Airport.

The two companies will lead the introduction of this revolutionary technology into a region with a large number of medium-sized airports that will benefit from its use, as they will be able to conduct all their management from a single virtual tower to reduce operating costs and increase the frequency of flights.

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), SANS CEO Abdulaziz bin Salem Al Zaid underlined his confidence that “this project will constitute a qualitative leap for the navigation services provided by SANS and enhance its position as one of the operators that manages its airspace in accordance with the most demanding international safety and quality standards.”

Indra’s Director of ATM Operations, Javier Ruano, added: “We’re redoubling our efforts to make the Saudi service provider one of the world’s leaders in air traffic management and equip the country with the most advanced infrastructure. Indra and SANS have once again demonstrated their commitment to ongoing innovation and the incorporation of the next-generation digital technologies that will shape the future of the sector.”

WATM: Frequentis partners with Fintraffic ANS to transform air traffic surveillance

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Finland is set to transform its air traffic surveillance by operating tje world’s largest Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system with a network of more than 120 ground stations ranging from the Baltic Sea to Northern Lapland.

Finish Air Navigation Service Provider, Fintraffic Air Navigation Services (ANS) is using a WAM system from Frequentis Comsoft. The company installed its Quadrant system to provide WAM and ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast) coverage for 80% of the Finnish airspace.

Providing a high-quality surveillance picture with highly accurate aircraft position measurements and high update rate, the WAM system extends the air traffic surveillance capability for Fintraffic ANS, as well as creating a Mode S airspace (S= selective communication with individual aircraft), improving aircraft identification, situation picture and tracking. The south-western WAM region, including Helsinki, was put into operation in Q1, 2022 with air traffic controllers said to be delighted about the surveillance performance and extended system coverage.  Remaining WAM regions are expected to be in operation in early 2023.

“Putting the Quadrant WAM system into operation marks a major milestone for Fintraffic ANS, contributing to transforming the Finnish airspace into full Mode S Enhanced Surveillance while extending coverage. Excellent quality, high update surveillance data integrates seamlessly with our trackers,” said Tero Alastalo, SUR System Manger, Fintraffic ANS. “The robust Frequentis Comsoft Quadrant ground stations, with their minimal maintenance needs, are the perfect fit for our environment with many remote locations inaccessible during winter months.”

With a population of 5.5 million, Finland’s passenger numbers are almost five times that figure, with close to 25 million passengers reported in 2018 and 26 million in 2019. Helsinki Airport alone managed close to 22 million passengers in 2019.

The Frequentis Comsoft WAM service covers the Finnish Flight Information Region (FIR), from 600 ft above sea level, and additional lower airspace coverage for 19 airport areas. ADS-B service is provided for the FIR and for airports to ground level. The system provides high resilience, assuring continuous WAM service. Helsinki FIR and airport are designed with N-2 ground station redundancy.

Commenting on his delight at being able to support Fintraffic ANS in modernising surveillance across Finnish airspace, Constantin von Reden, Managing Director Frequentis Comsoft added: “With this WAM system from Frequentis Comsoft we have helped them prepare for new demands on their service, providing extended surveillance capabilities while improving safety and service quality.”

PTEParis: Dusseldorf Airport extends use of pre-departure sequencer

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Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport has extended the use of its Pre-Departure Sequencer, having assigned affiliate company, SITA Airport IT, to procure the extension from ATRiCS, a member of Frequentis.

The German hub has been a pioneer of A-CDM gaining full compliance in 2013 and improving its air traffic flow and punctuality ever since.

“Our departure manager has been an absolutely robust and reliable system to manage our outbound operations for many years now,” said Thomas Hansen, Head of the Airport Control Centre at Düsseldorf. “We are highly impressed with the performance of the system even under adverse conditions, for example, when we use its de-icing functions to improve our winter operations. Our aim now is to make the most of the additional capacity we get from our envisaged more flexible use of the Northern runway. We have reached this strategic goal with the extended functions of the departure manager.”

Wolfgang Hatzack, CEO ATRiCS added: “We are happy to see Düsseldorf Airport so satisfied with the Frequentis departure manager. Düsseldorf was the second airport to introduce it at the time and the system has known a success story ever since. With the Pilot Common Project in place we see airports in Europe deciding consistently to improve their departure operations. This confirms that we have been backing the right horse when we decided for the development of this system many years ago.”