In 2010, EUROCONTROL, together with skyguide and its subsidiary Skysoft-ATM will launch live trials of a new system which introduces, for the first time, large scale electronic coordination between controllers working in different centres.
By introducing cross-border tactical screen-to-screen controller coordination, SYSCO or System Supported Coordination, will limit the need for telephone communication to occasional complex coordination needs or emergencies. This will reduce workload for controllers, and will also remove some of the errors that can occur when voice communication is used between centres. SYSCO will help build additional trust and confidence between controllers working hundreds of kilometres apart as well as providing extra flexibility that will lead to an improved service for airspace users. The trials, which will begin in 2010, will take place across the boundary between Geneva and Zurich ACCs. The results will be used by EUROCONTROLs FASTI programme and its member air navigation service providers to enable improved ground-to-ground coordination between controllers across the European Network before 2013. Swiss ACCs are particularly well placed to act as a catalyst for rapid wide scale deployment given that Germany and Italy are already preparing to implement SYSCO. At EUROCONTROL, we see SYSCO as a real first step in improving interoperability between ATC systems and within and between Functional Airspace Blocks such as FAB EC. By reducing the time needed for coordination between centres, and the workload this puts on controllers, we will be able to deliver improvements in flight efficiency, quality of service and capacity gains all of which support the aims of the Single European Sky and will benefit both the air navigation service providers, the airlines and passengers in general, said Alex Hendriks, Deputy Director Network Development at EUROCONTROL. Skyguide has already been able to increase its capacity by over 20% in the last two years as the result of the implementation of its new stripless system in Geneva UAC which includes internal electronic coordination and conflict detection support for controllers. The eventual implementation of SYSCO between Zurich and Geneva plus the introduction of the stripless concept in Zurich will lead to further significant gains, said Urs Ryf, COO of skyguide.