Papua New Guinea’s ANSP partners with Frequentis to optimise ATM network performance

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Having first partnered with Papua New Guinea’s Air Navigation Services Provider (ANSP), NiuSky Pacific Limited in 2014, Frequentis has now been selected for a pilot project to optimise the country’s safety-critical airspace network.

Designed specifically for the ATM environment, NiuSky’s technical solution is centred around the vitalsphere automatic service level manager NetBroker. The pilot project includes the installation of the vitalsphere portfolio elements at Port Moresby as well as at a remote site.

“Given the remote location of many of our aerodromes, a secure and resilient network performing at its peak is vital to the safety and efficiency of our operations,” said Captain Ted Pakii, CEO and Managing Director at Niusky Pacific, commenting on the collaboration with Frequentis.

Frequentis’ automatic service level manager performs constant evaluation of each available network connection. It then dynamically reroutes single traffic flows to the network, delivering the required performance and quality values for this specific type of traffic with no loss of network service. The end-to-end availability of each traffic flow is maximised, allowing air traffic controllers to keep the skies open and safe.

“Frequentis’ focus is on providing safe and secure solutions for ATM environments. We are proud, that we can provide NiuSky Pacific with an innovative but proven technology to make their network ATM-grade,” said Hannu Juurakko, Frequentis Vice President ATM Civil and Chairman of the ATM Executive Team.

“By utilising our automatic service level manager, we fill the technical gap between conventional IP networks and the very specific and heterogeneous requirements of various ATM applications,” he added.

Micro Nav agrees remote tower deal with Indra in Hungary

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Micro Nav has partnered with Indra to support their project of delivering a complete tower system for remote control of Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport to Hungarian air navigation service provider (ANSP) HungaroControl.

In line with the agreement Micro Nav will supply a simulation platform to enable HungaroControl to utilise their contingency environment as a simulator for training and familiarisation purposes.

Micro Nav’s single-solution Beginning to End for Simulation and training (BEST) simulation software will be used to stimulate the InNOVA Tower systems. It will provide a high-fidelity training environment, including surveillance data, flight plans, MET data and video streams for the 3D visuals for the controllers who will transition to operate on identical equipment in the live environment. This stimulator system will also be a contingency system, part of the overall safety set up for remote towers.

“Micro Nav will be an important contributor to a project that will make Budpaest the largest airport in Europe to be remotely controlled,” said Tom André Tarlebø, Chief Technology Officer at Indra. “We have experience with their simulation platform from several projects, and we know the system represents the state of the art in terms of functionality, performance and usability.”

To support research into digital technologies, Micro Nav has taken part in the SESAR PJ05 Wave 2 programme. It has focused in particular on multiple remote tower and remote tower centres, plus HMI interaction modes, with another SESAR trial planned for early next year.

This latest contract for Micro Nav is further demonstration of how simulation can play a key role in transitioning from traditional operational tower to remote digital tower operations, or support a smooth and efficient transition for controllers to new equipment.

ANSL partners with the UK’s RABA Group

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Air Navigation Solutions (ANSL) has joined forces with the UK Regional and Business Airports (RABA) Group, which provides a collective voice for UK airports with less than three million passengers per annum.

RABA currently has 40 airport members and represents 75% of all UK airports in this category. Combined these airports handled more than 10 million passengers a year (pre-COVID) in locations across England in all the Devolved Administrations and also covering the crown dependencies.

As RABA’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) partner, RABA will bring new speakers to the Group, present air traffic insights at its member meetings and work closely with RABA to support the represented airports with its bespoke solutions, tailored to the UK regional airport market. “The experience and insights ANSL will bring to RABA will make an important contribution to supporting the work we do with regional and business airports in the UK,” said Neil Pakey, RABA Group’s Chairman.

Henry Game, Managing Director of ANSL added: ” The UK’s regional and business airports are a vital part of the UK’s infrastructure and this partnership with RABA underpins our strong relationships within the UK regional airports market. We look forward to working with the RABA Group to provide the air traffic management solutions that will help ensure these airports remain firmly on the radar.”

Riga Airport certified by Eurocontrol to apply A-CDM procedures

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Riga Airport and SJSC ‘Latvijas gaisa satiksme’ (LGS) have received a certificate from the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) to implement Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) procedures.

The implementation of A-CDM was carried out jointly by both Riga and LGS in April and makes Riga the first and only airport in the Baltic countries to use the A-CDM procedures. The airport has already noted an improved quality of its services and flight safety for both airspace users and passengers.

The procedure ensures the timely exchange of information between airport operators, aircraft operators, groundhandlers, air traffic controllers and other parties involved in the process from the time of flight planning until the moment when an aircraft lands on the runway. Not only does this allow for more accurate scheduling of aircraft take-off and reduced passenger waiting times, it also decreases the resource and fuel consumption costs associated with pre-departure waiting times and aircraft preparation for flight. It also helps reduce environmental pollution and noise.

“Flight safety and security is the top priority at Riga Airport, an important criterion for our decisions, processes and actions. With the introduction of the A-CDM system and now also official certification, we are also fulfilling other tasks set in the company’s strategy to upgrade, simplify and efficiently organise work processes thus reducing the consumption of various resources. We are proud that we were the first to do this work in the Baltic region,” said Laila Odina, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport.

Meanwhile, Dāvids Tauriņš, Chairman of the Board of LGS commented, “currently we already witness a significant increase in the number of flights, and we are ready for work in the conditions of higher flight intensity, while providing safe air traffic control services.”

Rolls-Royce lays claim to world’s fastest all-electric aircraft

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With the pressure on aircraft and engine manufacturers to develop the electric aircraft of the future, Rolls-Royce has inched that bit closer to a podium finish with its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft, which it believes is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, having clocked up a maximum speed of 623 kh/h (387.4 (mph).

The aircraft has submitted data to the Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI) – the World Air Sports Federation, which controls and certifies world aeronautical and astronautical records – for three world records.

On 16 November, 2021, the aircraft reached a top spped of 555.9km/h (345.4mph) over 3km, smashing the existing record by 213.04km/h (132 mph). Further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site, the aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330mph) over 15km – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3,000m by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds.

“Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) team and Rolls-Royce,” said Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce.”The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market. Following the world’s focus on the need for action at COP26, this is another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero’ a reality and supports our amibtions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added that the UK Government is “proud to back projects like this to leverage the private investment necessary to unlock cleaner, greener aircraft.”

Propelled on its record breaking runs by a 400kW electric powertrain, the aircraft offers the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace. The world record runs also provided important data for future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation.’


Honeywell improves airport operations with global launch of next-gen Navitas software suite

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Honeywell has unveiled the next generation of its Honeywell Navitas platform, a System of Systems (SoS) offering to help airport operators and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) make more informed and accurate decisions across airside operations from the approach to the gate. The launch took place on 15 November at the Dubai Airshow.

The platform’s latest updates enable automation and the digitisation of air traffic services to help achieve efficient ground movement, improve situation awareness, control and monitoring of airside and Air Traffic Management (ATM) equipment, information management and integration. Offering a collection of task-oriented systems allowing airports to digitise, visualise and automate everyday operations, such as orchestrating an aircraft’s final approach landing, taxi-in for arrivals, turnaround, pushback, taxi-out, line-up and take-off for departures.

The multi-modular system now comprises nine modules: Engineering Manager, Surface Manager, Surveillance Manager, Lights Manager, Tower Manager, Performance Manager, Turnaround Manager, Arrival / Departure Manager and Integration Manager.

“Creating the airport of the future requires a strong operational backbone that prioritises safety, experience and efficiency to adapt to the daily needs of travellers and employees,” said Philipose Jacoob, General Manager, Global Airports, Honeywell Building Technologies. “The upgrades to the Honeywell Navitas software suite support airport operations and help drive decreased operational expenses, all while promoting a higher level of safety, security and uptime and an improved experience for travellers and employees.”




Ferrovial plans for UK network of 25 vertiports

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Spanish-based infrastructure group Ferrovial, which is also an AGS airports shareholder, plans to launch a network of more than 25 vertiports across the UK in partnership with eVTOL aircraft developer Vertical Aerospace.

The initiative is a further step in Ferrovial’s bid to lead the mobility of the future through the development of infrastructure for safe, high-speed, zero carbon aviation and follows a recent agreement to develop a network of more than 10 vertiports in Florida, US.

Essential infrastructure for landing, recharging and taking off eVTOL aircraft, the vertiports will be integrated into communities and adapted to the surrounding environment, reducing noise impact and improving energy efficiency through innovative design.

Ferrovial has partnered with architecture firm Grimshaw and global engineering management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald to develop the design and engineering components of the vertiport infrastructure.

“The partnership between vertiports and eVTOLS will provide high speed, affordable, emissions-free travel to millions of people,” said Kevin Cox, CEO of Ferrovial Vertiports. “This network will boost local economies with a new model of regional connectivity.”

Ferrovial has more than 20 years’ experience of investing, developing and operating 33 airports around the world, including in the US, Australia and Chile. It currently has four airports in the UK. With the largest shareholder stake in Heathrow Airport, it is the airport’s core shareholder and industrial partner. It also partly owns Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.


Leonardo partners with Malaysia CAA for completion of new ATC centre

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In partnership with the joint venture Advanced Air Traffic Systems (AAT) and the Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM), Leonardo has celebrated the completion of a new air traffic control centre in Kuala Lumpur, which will enhance the management of Malaysian airspace. The agreement was announced during this year’s World ATM Congress, which took place in Madrid from 26-28 October.

Named ‘KL ATCC’, the project will include the supply of Leonardo’s LeadInSky, a state-of-the-art ATC automation system, which is fully compliant with eh ICAO’s international aviation guidelines and regulations. The company will also exploit its world-leading technology to facilitate the integreation of communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (ATM) systems.

Fully integrated on a virtual platform, LeadInSky is based on a main operations centre, with a disaster and recovery component and a further backup system, which is continuously aligned with both to guarantee the highest level of fault tolerance and system availability.

CAAM’s new operations centre is also linked up with seven remote tower and the military Joint Air Traffic Control Centre (JATCC). With LeadInSky’s high level of automation and restructure of Malaysia’s airspace to add 14 new dedicated sectors, the overall ATC system will offer increased control capacity, making it fit for the next 10-15 years of operations.

The KL ATCC project has seen the installation of 12 new radio stations, three new secondary and two primary radars, a GNSS system and an ADS-B system, all integrated into the main centre. Leonardo has also provided a test environment system and a simulation solution for training current and future generations of Malaysian flight controllers.
Leonardo has been supplying the existing Malaysian ATC system through a full-service contract for 30 years, operating and Kuala Lumpur and all other airports nationwide. The company’s ongoing collaboration with AAT will spearhead new developments in Malaysia and the wider region to support the ICAO recommendations for the improvement of safety, efficiency and capacity, including ‘green’ compliance.

French ATC to benefit from Frequentis and CS Group VCS

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The French air navigation service provider, DNSA, has awarded Frequentis and CS Group a 20-year contract to provide a main and back-up (IP-based radio/ telephone Voice Communication System (VCS) to cover 14 air traffic control (ATC) approach and tower control centres.

DSNA provides air navigation services for nine French mainland regional and several overseas centres in charge of ATC approach and tower control. The VCS system will be deployed to 14 sites located in metropolitan France (including Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris Orly and Strasbourg), as well as some French overseas territories.

While Frequentis will supply its VCS2030X for the main VCS, CS Group will supply its Communication and Security over IP (CSoIP) solution for the back-up VCS. Both IP-based integrated secured VCS solutions are compliant with EUROCAE ECD 137 standard. The main and back-up VCS will use the new full IP transmitters/ receivers deployed in France. The scope of the contract includes the design, supply and maintenance, with a unique functionality that enables the controller to operate the same frequencies and radio channels in main and back-up mode.

Frequentis’ VCS3020X allows ANSP’s to share infrastructure between area control centres and ensures all ATM relevant tower functions without any limitation on size and location. It is already trusted and proven by more than 25,000 air traffic controllers.

“This new contract highlights the relevance of our solution to answer the needs of civil air traffic control providers,” stated Marie de Saint Salvy, CS Group Deputy General Manager.

In addition to working on the ARTEMIS system since 2011, Frequentis and CS Group have been implementing the new generation of VCS (N-VCS) for control centres within FABEC (Functional Airspace Block Europe Central).

World ATM Congress 2021: Inmarsat partners with ESSP on IRIS programme

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Inmarsat, the global, mobile satellite communications provider, has agreed a partnership with the European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP) to manage final testing, certification and integration for the Iris air traffic modernisation programme, in preparation for the service’s commercial rollout across Europe by 2023. The agreement was announced on 27 October during this year’s World ATM Congress taking place in Madrid.

Iris has been developed by Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA) to enable real-time collaboration between pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operation centre using cost-effective, secure and highly resilient datalink communications. In addition to receiving digital information such as weather updates, this means aircraft can be pinpointed in four dimensions – latitude, longitude, altitude and time – using ‘4D trajectories’ to calculate the shortest available routes and optimum altitudes. This not only improves airspace usage to accommodate future growth, but also allows airlines across Europe to minimise delays, save fuel and reduce the environmental impact of their operations.

“There is monumental support within the aviation industry for modernising air traffic management. The benefits for airlines and passengers are vast, from faster and more efficient flight routes with fewer delays, to improvements in environmental efficiencies, including reduced fuel usage and carbon emissions,” said John Broughton, Inmarsat’s Senior Vice President of Aircraft Operations and Safety Services. “The Iris programme will be transformational in this regard and our new agreement with ESSP brings us one step closer to European rollout, expected in the next couple of years. Inmarsat already has a successful track record of working closely with ESSP and we are delighted to further expand on this partnership.”

As a pan-European aviation service provider, ESSP, which was founded in 2009 by seven leading Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, will focus primarily on technical and service delivery preparations for the Iris programme’s upcoming deployment, including approvals from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Charlotte Neyret, CEO, ESSP added, that the Iris programme is a game-changer for the aviation industry, “providing the most advanced new technology to complement datalink communications and meet the challenge of digital, greener and sustainable air travel. ESSP has been working on this important programme with Inmarsat and ESA for several years and we are proud to now expand our involvement. We will provide the full range of ESSP’s expertise in implementing and operating mission-critical services to ensure that Iris will offer the highest quality of service to all aviation stakeholders.”

The Iris programme is powered by Inmarsat’s ELERA global satellite network. ELERA capabilities will be enhanced further with the upcoming addition of Inmarsat-6 satellites, the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, the first of which is scheduled to launch before the end of the year.


Header image: The Inmarsat, ESSP and ESA teams announce their new agreement at World ATM Congress 2021 in Madrid.