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

CANSO’s Environmental Accreditation Programme to help ANSPs decarbonise aviation

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Following in the footsteps of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) has launched GreenATM – an independent, industry-endorsed, environmental accreditation programme.

CANSO’s accreditation programme will assess and benchmark on a common framework the measures Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) are taking to reduce aviation’s emissions and their own environmental footprint.

With climate change being a critical issue for all stakeholders across the aviation industry, CANSO is committed to support civil aviation in the achievement of the industry’s joint goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Meeting aviation’s climate goals will require collaborative action by all parties,” said Michelle Bishop, CANSO’s Director Programmes. “While the ATM industry alone cannot get aviation to net zero, we can take responsibility for ensuring that it plays its part and provide strong and clear leadership for early action.”

She added: “There are a variety of programmes which offer companies frameworks or standards to align their environmental activities; however none of them fit the unique nature of an ANSP. And so CANSO is proud to launch its Environmental Accredditation Programme, GreenATM.”

participating ANSPs will be assessed on how they facilitate minimising excess emissions in their airspace, as well as efforts to reduce their own direct environmental footprint. GreenATM covers a range of topics related to governance and policy, ground, terminal and enroute operations, infrastructure and sustainable procurement practices. ANSPs will be assessed against five defined levels for each topic.

“By highlighting the areas an ANSP can positively influence its own environmental footprint and that of its customers, the GreenATM programme reveals a path to higher ambition and provides a framework for engagement with stakeholders and employees alike on climate action,” Bishop concluded.

Denmark’s Naviair partners with Frequentis for backup ATM system

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Denmark’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), Naviair, has selected the PRISMA backup solution from Frequentis Comsoft to replace its existing Clear-The-Sky (CTC) backup Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.

Naviair services the København Flight Information Region (FIR) for all major airports in Denmark, as well as the lower airspace of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. With the main ATM system in use in Denmark regularly requiring updates which sometimes can last for longer periods, a backup ATM system is essential to sustain a continuous traffic capacity of the served airspaces.

The new backup for Area Control Centre and Approach/ Tower units is capable of providing continuous traffic handling, for unlimited time periods. The project will form part of an expansion of the Remote Digital Tower (RDT) contract between Frequentis DFS Aerosense and Naviair. This expansion will build on the PRISMA APP solution integrated in the RDT system currently being implemented for Billund Approach and Tower. It will include PRISMA Enroute for Naviair’s Area Control Centre (ACC) and APP for approach/ tower units in Copenhagen, Billund and Roskilde airports.

“We require a reliable and up-to-date backup ATM system in order to ensure continuous, safety-critical air navigation services,” said Morten Søndergaard, CTO, Naviair, explaining that the need to replace Naviair’s current backup ATM system has been in the pipeline for some time.

Frequentis DFS Aerosense’ integrated digital tower and approach solution was originally selected by Naviair in 2020 to manage increasing airspace demand and support the workload of Air Traffic Control Operators (ATCOs). The initial remote tower centre at Billund Airport will house the system, which is a combination of a RDT and an approach automation solution (PRISMA APP).

“After we had learnt about PRISMA APP in the RDT project we realised the system could provide resiliency in the extreme rare case that our main ATM system suddenly becomes unavailable, but also during planned ATM system maintenance or for AIRAC (Aeronautical Information Regulation and Control) updates. We are looking forward to adding another PRISMA installation to our RDT project with Frequentis DFS Aerosense,” Søndergaard added.

Added value is offered by an open ATM platform, which enables the customer to integrate additional services and and applications either from the Frequentis group or from third-party providers.

The project will be rolled out under the AGILE delivery model and will span over two years.

First drone delivery from within a Canadian airport takes off from Edmonton

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Canada’s first drone delivery operation from within an airport has taken off from Edmonton Airport (EIA), marking a major step forward for the modernisation of supply chains.

The Sparrow drone from Drone Delivery Canada (DDC), for which Air Canada Cargo is the official agent, flew from the airport’s Operations Facility to a site in Leduc County and is the first time this activity has been approved by NAV Canada. It is expected that the Sparrow drone will soon be carrying commercial cargo packages on behalf of clients Ziing Final Mile and Apple Express.

With airspace around all Canadian airports highly restricted, any drone activity is forbidden without proper authorisation. The approval from NAV Canada follows months of EIA and DDC working alongside the Canadian ANSP to create approvals and safety procedures to make this and future drone operations possible.

“At EIA our mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Our national leadership in integrating drone technologies at an airport is giving birth to a new sector in drone logistics,” said Myron Keen, VP, Air Service and Business Development at Edmonton Airport.

“The integration of these sustainable technologies is the precursor to the enablement of advanced air mobility, and it lowers barriers for the movement of goods and in the future, people.”

DDC’s President and CEO, Michael Zahra, added:”We are entering a unique time in transportation history as we move towards a future that suggests an entirely new landscape of opportunities for the global supply chain.”

To ensure public safety, some of the restrictions on the drone flights include that it cannot fly over populated areas, and its flying height is limited. As the project continues to be tested and further safety requirements are met, the goal is to conduct longer flights that can become delivery flight paths.

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.

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.

Aerospace leaders collaborate on vision for future skies

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Following the first ever meeting of the Complete Air Traffic (CATS) System Global Council last week, industry leaders from across the aviation and aerospace industries are creating a blueprint for safely integrating all airspace users into future skies.

Initiated by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) last December, the Global Council is an independent forum, which unites airports, airlines, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), UTM service providers, aircraft manufacturers, drone operators and manufacturers, space agencies, high-tech companies and regulatory authorities with the goal of building a vision for the skies together.

“Until now, each of us has been working on our agenda,” said Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO. “ANSPs have been focused on an air traffic management vision of the future, drone operators have been concerned with unmanned traffic management, and space explorers have their vision for space flight.” What was missing, he said, was “an aligned vision for total traffic management.”

CATS Global Council aims to change this by transforming how all airborne vehicles are accommodated safely, efficiently and sustainably.

“How do we march into the future? How do we capitalise on the big and exciting opportunities in front of us?” asked Richard Parker, CEO, Altitude Angel.

Margaret Nagle, Head of Policy and Government Affairs responded saying: “What we’re doing hasn’t been done before, so we don’t have all the answers and that”s OK. This Council is a great opportunity for us to learn from one another and focus on the problems we need to solve today while creating a future framework that will enable innovation,”

Meanwhile, Jean Ferre, General Manager and Vice-President Airspace Mobility Solutions at Thales commented, “With this Council we have a unique opportunity to come together as a key driving force of the aviation ecosystem, take ownership and propose an agenda of radical change.”

Avinor Air Navigation Services chooses Thales to enhance Norwegian airspace

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Avinor Air Navigation Services has appointed Thales to supply their new Safety Nets Server to support Norwegian air traffic controllers and contribute to maintaining the highest levels of safety in Norwegian airspace.

The technology will be deployed at Oslo, Stavanger and Bodo Air Traffic Control (ATC) centres and will be fully integrated into a fully virtualised environment. It will guarantee earlier conflict detection and a lower nuisance alert rate than other safety nets solutions. Thales system will help Avinor Air Navigation Services’s controllers keeping the Norway skies safe as well as to support Avinor Air Navigation Services in the work on climate and environmental challenges within aviation for reducing greenhouse gas emission. As part of the agreement Thales will provide long-term maintenance and support services for at least five years.

“Thales is proud to partner with Avinor Air Navigation Services and aspires to their vision for the future of air traffic management in Europe,” said Jean Ferré, VP Airspace Mobility Solutions Activities, Thales. He added that, “this contract adds to Thales’ already existing credentials as leader in the provision of air traffic management systems in Europe and shows Thales’ edge in delivering components perfectly integrated into the actual and the future ATC system and virtualised ATM solutions.”

With its unique multi-hypothesis algorithm, Thales’ solution is an enabler for airspace efficiency improvements and increased demand for air travel in the coming decades. Developed under stringent safety and security requirements, TopSky – Safety Nets fully conforms to EUROCONTROL safety nets specifications. Avinor Air Navigation Services joins more than 40 ANSPs across the globe that have already chosen TopSky – Safety Nets for their ATC centres.

Swiss ANSP partners with Rohde & Schwarz for future voice communications systems

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Skyguide, the Swiss air navigation service provider (ANSP) has selected Rohde & Schwarz CERTIUM voice communication system (VCS) to rationalise its voice communications architecture and meet future air traffic control (ATC) operations requirements.

The new VCS will be implemented under the umbrella of the skyC@T project and will be a Swiss-wide solution. Depending on the options, it will replace four to seven legacy VCS.

Described as the ‘perfect match’ for Skyguide’s demanding requirements CERIUM VCS-4G provides native VoIP services through a Swiss-wide redundant VCS. The system simplifies and rationalises the overall voice communications architecture, making use of state-of-the-art technologies, including virtualised applications and service-oriented infrastructures with country wide distribution of system components. It can also be seamlessly integrated into Skyguide’s existing communications environment.

We selected CERTIUM VCS for skyC@T, due to its capacity and cost effectiveness. It allows us to redesign the overall VCS architecture and to align it with the latest industry standards and technologies.

Stephan Meister, Skyguide’s Head of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance.

Heinz School, Managing Director of Roschi Rohde & Schwarz AG added: “Our team is very proud to have been selected by Skyguide with its worldwide reputation for best practices in ATC. With our strong local expertise in the implementation of demanding projects and value-based systems maintenance, we see ourselves as a long-term partner to Skyguide, jointly building and supporting Skyguide’s new and future-proof VCS backbone.”

Header image:  Rohde & Schwarz CERTIUM VCS selected by Skyguide for skyC@T