DSNA awards Thales a fixed contract for its future ATM system 4-FLIGHT

On October 28th 2011, the French Air Navigation Service Provider (DSNA) awarded Thales the Framework Agreement and the first development contract for the 4-FLIGHT programme, the future innovating French ATM system. This agreement, of a 10 year renewable duration, organizes the long term collaboration between the DSNA and Thales for the development of the next generation 4-FLIGHT Air Traffic Management (ATM) system, its deployment in all DSNA en-route centres and major approaches by 2020 and its future technological evolutions.
The 4-FLIGHT programme is based on the COFLIGHT Flight Data Processing system, a new human-machine interface in an electronic and stripless environment, and new controller help tools. For the DSNA, this new generation ATM system will allow to respond to the increasing volume of air traffic scheduled in next years.

This contract includes the development of the first operational version of 4-FLIGHT (V-OPS), its deployment in two en-route centres (ACC Reims and ACC Aix-en-Provence) by 2015, and operations evaluations of this new system to prepare its adaptation to the particular context of Paris region. For that, an agile development process has been set up in order to take into account users feedbacks from the early stages of system design until the operational acceptance of the final product. Additional contracts will be made, covering the development of the target version of 4-FLIGHT (V-Target), its deployment in the 5 ACCs and major approaches - including those in the Paris area - and the evolution of these deployed systems.

Maurice GEORGES, Director of the French Air Navigation Service Provider (DSNA), states that 4-FLIGHT will provide an appreciable foundation for the SESAR programme: by using COFLIGHT, 4-FLIGHT will enable us to meet SESAR requirements and will be fully interoperable with other European ANSP ATM systems. He adds that 4-FLIGHT will support the free route and flexible use of airspace concepts in particular for efficient operations. He emphasizes that our controllers and technicians have been involved in the development process since the beginning of the system development, in order to guarantee a better acceptance of new tools and new working methods.

On behalf of Thales, Jean-Loïc GALLE, Senior Vice President of Thales for Air Operations, says that he is very pleased that the DSNA has awarded this major contract to Thales. He adds: Thanks to this co-operation, we will be able to expand Thales's new ATM product line, by adapting it to the complexity and density of traffic that is managed by the French Air Traffic Control Centres. 4-FLIGHT will allow us to propose solutions to our customers for progressive migration as part of our European product policy. Our ability to be technologically innovative will ensure the long-term success of the 4-FLIGHT program and its compliance with the regulatory framework of the Single European Sky initiative."

Alexandre Perra
Thales Group


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