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. 

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.

London City scoops multiple awards

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London City Airport has been celebrating multiple wins over the last couple of weeks having been named by the Daily Telegraph as the best airport in the UK and scooping  airports Council International (ACI) Europe’s Best Digital Transformation Award at the 32nd ACI Europe annual congress in Rome on 23 June.

ACI’s award was given in recognition of the design, delivery and operational success of the pioneering Digital Air Traffic Control Tower, which has been fully operational at London City since January 2021. London City’s digital tower has 14 high-definition cameras and sensors mounted on a landside mast at the airport that provide a 360-degree view. This is all fed back via super-fast fibre connections to a NATS control room centre in Swanwick.

The swift deployment of the project and the close collaboration between the airport, NATS, SAAB, the CAA and engagement with airline and local community stakeholders were all contributing factors to the London City hub receiving its award from ACI Europe.

Commenting on the accolade London City Airport’s COO, Alison FirzGerald said: “This project goes back to 2016 and I want to pay tribute to everyone involved in getting it approved by our regulators, as well as built, operationally ready and prepared for a busy summer ahead.

“This recognition also speaks to the strength of the relationship we have built with NATS over the years, and I am hopeful that there is even more we can achieve together, helping us both to lead the way in making our industry safer, more sustainable and cutting edge.”

Serving the UK capital, London City is set to connect to 36 destinations across the UK and Europe. The airport is fully staffed for the summer period.

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.

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.”

Rohde & Schwarz selected by Vietnam ATM corporation for state-of-the-art ATC solution

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Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) has contracted Rohde & Schwarz to equip nine regional towers throughout the country with reliable communications solution.

As part of the agreement, Rohde & Schwarz will provide the R&S Series5200 air traffic control (ATC) radio, as well as its CERTIUM VCS-4G – IP based voice communications system (VCS).

“Rohde & Schwarz is proud to provide VATM with the latest communications technology,” said Marium Munstermann, VP ATC at Rohde & Schwarz. “We have a long and successful relationship with our Vietnamese customer. From the controller working position to the antenna, our integrated all-in-one, IP based solution gives VATM highly secure, safe and reliable ATC communications with excellent RF performance.

The new R&S Series5200 radios represent the next generation of VHF and UHF radios for ATC communications, increasing system reliability with a new security-by-design architecture to make air travel even more secure. The radios are future-proof; later system expansions will require no additional hardware thanks to the software defined radio concept.

Both the VCS system and the Series 5200 ATC radio are part of Rohde & Schwarz’s CERTIUM, an advanced communications suite for ATC from the microphone to the antenna.

Header image: Rohde & Schwarz is to equip nine regional towers across Vietnam. Shown: Can Tho Tower. (Image: Rohde & Schwarz)