Integrating Aireon’s space-based ADS-B into EUROCONTROL’s network operations system brings major predictability gains and will unlock future capacity

- McLean

In a major operational enhancement of the EUROCONTROL Network Manager’s (NM) operational systems, real-time air traffic surveillance data derived from Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system has now been integrated into NM’s Enhanced Traffic Flow Management System (ETFMS). The new data will significantly boost air traffic predictability by up to 20%, improving operational efficiency and resilience while unlocking capacity for the future that will help reduce environmental impacts.

The new high-fidelity data, refreshed every 60 seconds, will cover not only air traffic across all 41 EUROCONTROL Member States as well as Israel and Morocco, EUROCONTROL’s two Comprehensive Assessment States, but also peripheral zones stretching as far as the Middle East and North America. After processing the data, EUROCONTROL will work with air navigation service providers, airports and airlines to use the data to optimise flow management, which will play its part in improving the punctuality of arrivals and departures at European airports, benefitting passengers, staff and the environment.

“Once the pandemic is contained and air traffic resumes, it will be crucial that we have an air traffic management system in place that can adapt quickly to varying traffic demand in the safest, most sustainable and efficient manner. The integration of  space-based ADS-B marks a significant milestone for building the ATM system of the future which will benefit all aviation stakeholders.”Eamonn Brennan, Director General EUROCONTROL

“EUROCONTROL has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the deployment and operation of innovative technology and services. They are the first provider to use space-based ADS-B for flow management,” said Don Thoma, CEO, Aireon. “We are confident that space-based ADS-B data, provided from well-beyond the EU borders and shared with Member States, will facilitate world-wide gains in efficiency and environmental sustainability, while also reducing delays for customers. Global airspace harmonization is one step closer to becoming a reality. –Don Thoma, CEO Aireon

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B has been integrated into the EUROCONTROL NM’s ETFMS and is now supporting active operations. It will enrich ETFMS’s complex traffic demand and slot allocation calculations, which currently rely on ground-based surveillance data and flight plan processing systems. As a result, Europe’s primary flow management system will be more accurate in its trajectory predictions and unlock further capacity. Information on long-haul traffic, such as flights crossing the Atlantic, will now be received up to six hours prior to a flight’s entry into European airspace, which significantly improves the predictability of inbound traffic in the NM area.

The deployment of space-based ADS-B is a key steppingstone in EUROCONTROL’s digital transformation, creating the next generation of operational systems with the integrated Network Management (iNM) programme. iNM will ensure that the future NM operational system is scalable in the safest, most sustainable and efficient manner.

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