ITEC AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT COLLABORATION EXTENDED TO FURTHER SUPPORT SINGLE EUROPEAN SKY
Oro Navigacija and its iTEC Alliance partners are expanding their collaboration. In June 2018 seven European Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSPs), plus industry partner Indra, have with a new agreement to jointly develop two additional critical components that will be integrated into their next generation air traffic management systems.
The collaboration already sees the seven ANSPs of Germany, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania and Norway working together to develop a common flight data processing system and controller working position (CWP) that will save costs and help deliver the objectives of the European Commission’s Single European Sky initiative. However, iTEC members have now agreed to expand the scope of the collaboration to cover the joint development of an adaptation platform that will help define and maintain the specific airspace structures of different ANSPs and a tool that will perform automatic testing on the system.
Twenty control centres already use or will use iTEC technology to manage their air traffic in some of the world's most complex and congested airspaces. The system has already been successfully deployed at two major Area Control Centres: in 2016, in NATS Prestwick Centre, which manages one of the largest areas of airspaces in Europe covering more than 2.2 million km2; and, in 2017, iCAS (iTEC Centre Automation System) at the DFS upper area control centre (UAC) in Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe UAC has controlled traffic in the upper airspace of Germany since 1977. Annually, about 1.8 million flights cross this airspace above Germany. It will be deployed at 18 further European ATM Operations Centres, including Vilnius, in the coming years.
Recently the iTEC partners and the European Agency Eurocontrol, through its Upper Area Control Centre in Maastricht (MUAC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop the SESAR Flight Object IOP (Interoperability) components that will enable the sharing of four-dimensional (i.e predictive) flight trajectories between iTEC members and with the Network Manager.
And now, with the present additional extension, iTEC partners will jointly develop an iTEC Adaptation Platform (iTAP), a powerful and intuitive graphical tool that will help define and maintain the specific airspace structures required by each Member, and to configure other parameters related to air operations like areas of military use or system configuratins related to data interchange o controller pilot data link. The iTAP complies with ISO 19115 for storing Geographic Information/Metadata and provides tools to ensure the integrity of the airspace design, as well as offering 3D visualization capabilities that simplify airspace definition tasks.
In addition, the iTEC partners will also jointly develop a tool (External System Services, ESS) to perform automatic testing over the system, boosting the efficiency of the testing process and ensuring a regular flow of information to support effective maintenance of the system, ensuring optimal performance for its multiple users and their airspace users.
The system will support the service all Member ANSPs provide to airlines and passengers, allowing them to meet the objectives of the European SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme: increasing capacity, offering more direct routes, reducing fuel consumption and improving safety and punctuality, thereby helping to boost the efficiency of air transport within Europe.
The iTEC Collaboration Agreement was signed in 2007, when the air navigation service providers DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain) and NATS (United Kingdom), with Indra as their technology partner, joined forces to develop a new, advanced Flight Data Processing System designed to deliver cost savings and enable easier sharing of information across borders. The Alliance was later enlarged when LVNL (The Netherlands), AVINOR (Norway), Oro Navigacija (Lithuania) and PANSA (Poland) joined.
Madrid, 7 March 2018 - EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, through its Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), and the Founding Members of the iTEC Collaboration, some of Europe’s largest ANSP’s, today (Weds 7th March) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop components that will enable interoperability between their respective Air Traffic Management systems and help deliver a Single European Sky.
The MoU will see the two organisations jointly develop the Flight Object Manager (FOM) and the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Node that will underpin the future exchange of flight trajectory data.
Sharing of this data is essential to deliver the SESAR concept of operations outlined in the European ATM Master plan and meet the growing demand for air travel in Europe in a safe and efficient way.
The European Commission’s Pilot Common Project legislation, which outlines core functionalities required to be implemented by law as part of plans to modernise Europe’s air traffic management system, includes a requirement to share flight trajectories between Air Navigation Service Providers and the Network Manager by 2025. The Flight Object Manager (FOM) and the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) components that will be jointly developed as a result of this MoU will enable that to happen.
The SESAR IOP operational concepts are being validated in SESAR projects thanks to the collaboration between European Air Navigation Service Providers and Industry.
The outcome of these validations will be incorporated into the Standards being developed by EUROCAE, the European Organisation fo Civil Aviation Equipment, which forms the basis of Industrialisation Projects that will lead to the deployment of the Flight Object Interoperability concept.
Enrique Maurer, Chair of the iTEC Board/Steering Group, said: “This Memorandum of Understanding reflects the full commitment of the iTEC Alliance to ensuring interoperability, a key component of the Single European Sky and the European ATM Masterplan. We look forward to working with EUROCONTROL on this important initiative.”
John Santurbano, Director of EUROCONTROL MUAC, concluded: “Improving the performance of the European ATM system together with our stakeholders is our priority. With this cooperative venture, EUROCONTROL and the members of iTEC will actively develop the much-needed interoperability that will help us all cope efficiently with growing traffic demand”.
Notes to editors
The Founding Members of the iTEC Alliance are DFS of Germany, Enaire of Spain and NATS of the UK. Other members of the iTEC Alliance are Avinor of Norway, LVNL of the Netherlands, PANSA of Poland and Oro Navigacjia of Lithuania.
EUROCONTROL is an intergovernmental organisation with 41 Member States. Operated by EUROCONTROL on behalf of four States, EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) provides cross-border air traffic control for the upper airspace of Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and north-west Germany. Some 1.9 million flights pass through MUAC’s area of responsibility each year, making it the third busiest air traffic control facility in Europe in terms of traffic volume. During the summer, peak days see close to 5,700 flights.
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The Lithuanian air navigation service provider (ANSP) Oro Navigacija and the Polish ANSP PANSA officially joined the European iTEC alliance during the World ATM Congress in Madrid, after having expressed their intention to do so during last year’s World ATM Congress.
The common use of the iTEC flight data processing system and controller working position is a major step towards aligning air traffic management for delivering improved operational performance and increased cost-efficiency in a single European airspace.
The founding members of iTEC – The ANSPs DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain) and NATS (UK) – and their partners account for 31 percent of European air traffic.
Oro Navigacija and PANSA signed a system group agreement with the German ANSP DFS, together with the Dutch partner LVNL and system provider Indra. The Norwegian ANSP Avinor had joined the iTEC alliance in 2016 through a system group agreement with NATS.
Prof. Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, CEO of DFS, said on behalf of the DFS System Group: “The iTEC collaboration provides a platform for synergies and thus cost reductions, helping to realise a common and interoperable European air traffic management with greater efficiencies and service standards for Europe’s airspace users. The partnership with Lithuania and Poland will extend these benefits to even more airspace users.”
Mr. Mindaugas Gustys, Acting Director General of Oro Navigacija, said: “Being a proactive implementer of the Single European Sky concept, iTEC is also a great example of efficient inter-FAB collaboration as well as of successful partnership of Europe’s West and East, big and small, public and private, technology and service. The innovative approach and expertise of iTEC members are brought together to provide airspace users with the quality environment for more efficient performance.”
PANSA President, Janusz Niedziela, said: “We are pleased to join the iTEC Alliance, since we believe that this enhanced ATM collaboration, which matches advanced technology and ANSPs’ best practices, is a major step to realising the vision of a Single European Sky. Cooperation among ANSPs handling traffic in the most congested and complex European airspace, as well as Eastern out-of-area traffic, will improve ATM operational performance in Europe. The implementation of iTEC technology is a prerequisite of further successful Baltic FAB development. ”
iTEC provides the most advanced flight data processing and controller working position. The technology enables 4D trajectory-based operations, featuring conflict detection, flight path monitoring and interoperability between control centres in Europe, fully aligned with SESAR principles. iTEC will help to strengthen safety even more, increase efficiency and improve environmental impact of flights.
New members of the alliance will benefit from reduced operational expenditures by sharing development costs and risks, enabling accelerated deployment of enhanced systems and future operational concepts.
Find out more about the iTEC collaboration at the newly launched website www.itec.aero
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