The first was for ADS-C (ATS B2 Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract), which won the Airspace Management category for its operational introduction at EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC).
ADS-C is a datalink-based technology which allows different types of information to be shared with the controllers directly from the aircraft's flight management system, without pilot interaction. It enables MUAC to automatically establish an ADS-C connection with an equipped aircraft and downlink key aircraft intent (via the extended projected profile received e.g. aircraft position, altitude, speed or elements of navigational intent and meteorological data), which is then displayed on air traffic controllers’ screens and used to enhance tools.
Learn more about this technology here.
The second award came in the Collaboration category, where ATS Common Datalink Services (ACDLS) Governance was recognised, an award shared between EUROCONTROL and the 17 participating ANSPs – ANS Czech Republic, AUSTROCONTROL, BULATSA, CROATIA CONTROL, DFS, DSNA, ENAIRE, ENAV, IAA, LFV, LPS, MATS, NATS, NAV Portugal, PANSA, ROMATSA & Skyguide.
A Memorandum of Cooperation for ACDLS governance was signed by the 17 in October 2021, with the aim of harmonising the provision of ATM datalink services in Europe through the set-up of a unique certified ATM Datalink Service Provider (DSP). The DSP will be selected via a common procurement procedure conducted by EUROCONTROL on behalf of the ACDLS governance. Its establishment will reduce the fragmentation that characterises the current datalink implementation in Europe, improving datalink service performance, accelerating technology uptake, and achieving economies of scale. Datalink is a key enabler to increase aviation safety and capacity as well as support automation, efficiency and scalability for airspace operations. Overall, the establishment of the DSP is a key building block for the deployment of the SESAR Digital European Sky.
There is also a strong link between ACDLS and ADS-C, as we plan to build a common ADS-C service as part of ACDLS, expanding the benefits of ADS-C to the whole network of participating ANSPs.
"These awards demonstrate how EUROCONTROL MUAC is keen to implement the latest technologies and approaches at the earliest possibility. ADS-C became operational at MUAC in May 2022, and it is delivering quantifiable benefits to aircraft operators. And datalink – an essential enabler to deliver the capacity required in the busy airspace of MUAC and other European ACCs – will be driven forward by ACDLS, which we expect will accelerate and harmonise the delivery and evolution of datalink services across Europe."
John Santurbano Director EUROCONTROL MUAC