One million flights under the new air traffic management system

With the words "You're identified", the air traffic controller confirmed the initial call of the Lufthansa pilot of flight DLH729 from Shanghai Pudong to Frankfurt and the DFS radar control centre in Karlsruhe took over control of the one millionth flight using its new P1/VAFORIT system.
The introduction of P1/VAFORIT in the Karlsruhe control centre last December was a great technological leap forward for air traffic controllers. The system makes predictions of flight paths, giving the air traffic controllers much earlier support for their planning and in detecting possible conflict situations. This boosts the airspace capacity while maintaining a high safety standard. This new system has even more potential: By completely digitalising all data, the system is ready for future technologies.

The P1/VAFORIT system is the result of years of development and programming work. Each system component was subject to a comprehensive series of tests, the success of which can now be seen in practice. As the new system went live in the early hours of 12 December 2010 it was already so well engineered that the traffic figures exceeded the planned figures after only a few months.

DFS anticipates an additional boost to capacity for the upper airspace for the end of 2012. At that time, Karlsruhe will also control the upper airspace over Bavaria, which is now the responsibility of the DFS control centre in Munich. At the end of 2012, about 100 working positions will be transferred from Munich to Karlsruhe. This transfer will enable the creation of larger control sectors, which will allow the system to be better exploited. "P1/VAFORIT is the basis for the air traffic management systems of the future," said Robert Schickling, who made a decisive contribution to the development of the system in his role as project manager, "DFS is thus taking a leading role among the air navigation service providers in Europe, also with respect to technology".


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