Showing posts with label Air Traffic Control. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Air Traffic Control. Show all posts

08 February, 2024

NAV CANADA and Indra to deploy leading air traffic management platforms

NAV CANADA and Indra have reached a milestone agreement that will contribute to the evolution of Canada's air traffic management systems the firms announced this week. 

The first phase of the agreement will support the deployment of a state-of-the-art flight data processing system (FDPS) and an air traffic flow management system (iACM) for complex airspaces within NAV CANADA's network centre.


In line with NAV CANADA's strategic direction, this partnership represents a tangible step towards Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO) in Canada, shifting air traffic management towards a strategic approach that takes a more comprehensive picture of a flight from take-off to landing. This new technology can calculate routes with great accuracy and predict the evolution of air traffic over an extended horizon, supporting greater planning and coordination.

These systems will integrate information processing from Canada's area control centres, automatically notifying the system of any changes in flight plans between each of their respective airspace. This will enable better flexibility resulting in the improvement of traffic flow within Canadian airspace and across the rest of the network. The result will be more efficient  routings for aircraft operators, reduced fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions while providing greater operational resiliency to disruptions and meeting the capacity requirements of a growing sector.



These advancements, which continue to keep safety at the forefront, reflect the vision for the future of air traffic management defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)'s Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU), which promote technologies that enable greater collaboration and operational predictability in global aviation.

This agreement also reinforces the collaboration between NAV CANADA, UK's NATS and Norway's Avinor, which also have Indra as a strategic technology partner. Both companies welcomed this important agreement.

The technology will be deployed over a ten-year horizon across NAV CANADA's facilities.

19 December, 2023

Pioneering air traffic control simulations pave the way for eVTOL operations


A new generation of greener aviation has taken a leap forward following the UK’s first major air traffic control simulations for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), demonstrating how eVTOL – electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft or ‘flying taxis’ – could one day be safely integrated with conventional air traffic.

The simulations were the latest milestone for the Advanced Mobility Ecosystem Consortium, a group of leading aviation, technology and transport organisations demonstrating the commercial and operational viability of AAM. The consortium is a Future Flight Challenge programme jointly funded by UK Research and Innovation and includes Vertical Aerospace, Virgin Atlantic, AtkinsRรฉalis, Skyports, NATS, Heathrow, Bristol and London City airports, Connected Places Catapult, Cranfield University and WMG – University of Warwick.

The tests are a pivotal step ahead of the consortium’s planned real-world demonstration flight in late 2024 and lay the groundwork for a new generation of electric aircraft becoming commonplace in our skies.

The air traffic control service, NATS successfully simulated eVTOL flights from Bristol Airport through the airspace around Farnborough Airport, and then onto London City Airport. The flights operated alongside traditional air traffic and in controlled airspace without any impact on conventional operations.

09 October, 2023

The real art of blue sky thinking...... air traffic control


Picture the worst possible day on the biggest and busiest road and then imagine that chaos transferred to the clouds worldwide. Artemis Aerospace looks at the crucial work of air traffic controllers and how they keep aircraft moving and skies safe.

If you’ve downloaded a flight radar app, you may have been astonished at the sheer number of aircraft criss-crossing the country. Zooming in to Heathrow or JFK, all you can see is a vast pile of teeny planes all seemingly jostling to get on or off the runway. It appears to be completely chaotic, but every single aircraft is on a precisely dictated flight path, and it’s the work of air traffic controllers which will result in an untroubled journey and a safe landing.

The aim of air traffic control is to move aircraft safely and efficiently through the airspace system, to maintain communication with the pilot and ensure compliance with aviation protocol. In the UK, 7,000 aircraft traverse the skies every day, and air traffic control services handle 2.5 million flights and 250 million passengers per year on commercial, leisure, cargo and military flights.

It's arguably one of the most responsible jobs anyone can undertake, with passenger safety depending on each decision. To become an air traffic controller (ATCo) you need to have good concentration, excellent verbal communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills and the ability to pay attention to detail and work well under pressure.

The route to becoming an ATCo involves rigorous study; to begin with, trainees spend a year at a specialist college learning about the theories and practicalities of the job. Modules include air navigation law, air safety management and weather studies as well as the complex rules and regulations of air traffic control. Having completed this, trainees can then specialise as one of three types of ATCo:

Area controllers are based at a regional control centre and track and guide aircraft flying at high altitudes through their specific area.

Approach controllers give instructions to aircraft which have just taken off and manage them on their approach to an airport.

Aerodrome controllers work from an airport control tower, guiding pilots to their allocated stand and runway and giving take-off and landing clearance.


There are two types of airspace, controlled and uncontrolled. Surprisingly, the majority is uncontrolled and is used by recreational pilots and also some military flights; it’s up to the pilots to avoid collisions. Air traffic control services are provided in controlled airspace using radar and other surveillance systems to minimise delays and keep aircraft at a safe distance from each other.

29 September, 2022

NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen goes live with Digital Tower from Saab

Photo Saab
The first digital air traffic control tower is now live and in operation at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen in Germany. The base is equipped with a state-of-the-art Saab r-TWR system.


Saab’s r-TWR is the first military digital tower solution fully operational in NATO and is certified by the the German Military Aviation Authority (LufABw).


NATO’s main operating base for its Boeing E-3A airborne early warning and control system fleet in Geilenkirchen, Germany will be using the Saab r-TWR in all weather conditions. The solution will service a complex military airbase with aircraft types ranging from fighter jets to helicopters.


“This is an important milestone for Saab going operational with the digital air traffic solution within the military domain. The digital tower provides a flexible and scalable solution that is proven to be suitable for military airbases as well as civilian airports of all sizes,“ says Per Ahl, CEO of Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions (SDATS).


The digital tower technology allows the airbase to be flexible and take advantage of the latest air traffic control technologies. The solution consists of a well-proven system operated from a control room at the airbase. This includes sound reproduction, high-definition cameras mounted on the mast to capture a 360-degree view of the airfield and pan-tilt-zoom cameras.


State-of-the-art Saab r-TWR system.
Photo Saab








27 September, 2022

Life as Aircraft Control Position Operator.......

Photo NATS
Photo NATS
The UK's air traffic control operator NATS is looking for more staff to become Aircraft Control Position Operators.  In a normal year (pre-Covid) NATS staff handle 2.5 million flights and 250 million passengers travelling in UK airspace.

It is a demanding job, but rewarding, but what does it actually involve?

Lauren Dixon explains all about it and exactly why you should apply....


"Hi, I’m Lauren Dixon and I’m an Aircraft Control Position Operator (ACPO) at NATS.

Normally, when I tell people what my role is, they look at me and say ‘what?!’. In simple terms, the best way to describe what I do is that I am effectively a ‘pseudo pilot’. This means that I sit on a desk with an interactive touchscreen and a radar screen in front of me and act as if I were a pilot, in an aircraft, talking to a controller. This helps controllers to train for the airspace that they will eventually be responsible for."


Find out about careers at NATSs here

NATS have around 4,500 employees dedicated to advancing aviation and keeping the skies safe. That includes 1,700 Air Traffic Controllers, 650 Air Traffic Service Assistants, 1,000 engineers, and 1,000 other specialists.



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