Thales’s groundbreaking systems help Europe towards more efficient Air Traffic Control

- Madrid, Spain

As a European born group and the world leader in air traffic management, Thales is naturally very proud of both its heritage and its long-standing presence in European Air Traffic.

2012 proved this once again, as Thales reinforced its standing by putting in place and developing the very latest ATM technologies and processes to service the world’s most densely packed air traffic network.

The issue of congestion in European air travel is something which is at the forefront of all players, regulators-governments and the European Union. All agree that growth must be met with better processes and technologies. In this the SESAR project is paving the way for a sustainable future for the saturated skies of the old continent. The project’s success of making air travel in Europe more efficient and streamlined must be assured, if air traffic in Europe is to maintain its growth trends whilst reducing carbon emissions and congestion at the same time.

Thales stands as the single most important private enterprise contributing to this essential project. With 40% of the ground industrial share of investment and 250 experts dedicated to SESAR, Thales’s contribution is close to double that of the second industrial provider in the project. And in its role as the only provider covering all segments of the project, ground, air and space, Thales has clearly staked its might and global credibility on the success of SESAR, and the project will succeed largely due to the group’s effort.

As projects become continent wide, so do solutions. The state of the art Thales TopSky-ATC is now so popular in the old continent, that it manages 40% of all air traffic in Europe. Thales also delivered its enhanced version of its TopSky – AIM solutions according to the ICAO milestones in order to comply with the new Flight Plan Model 2012.

Whilst the issue of European wide streamlining is very close to the group’s heart. The single air traffic networks have certainly not suffered from lack of effort. Demonstrating the success of Thales’s technologies in Europe, the Thales Wide Area Multilateration System was accepted by the German air navigation service provider Deutsche Flugsicherung for Frankfurt Airport. The system, dubbed “PAM-FRA” provides operators with enhanced situational awareness to manage one of the world’s most complex airspaces. Thales’s new Instrument Landing System and Distance Measuring Equipment were also made operational this year at Frankfurt International Airport.

The relationship Thales has with the French Civil Aviation Service Provider, DSNA, has been forged over many decades, and manages the heart of European air traffic, the IFR flights, over 2.9 million per year and the highest number of flights of any single network. This partnership does not stop at a working relationship, together, the DSNA and Thales are pushing the boundaries of air navigation, with the 4Flight project. A 10 year exclusive partnership, aimed at shaping the future of air traffic management, 4-Flight has achieved its first milestone in 2012. By carrying out its first successful demonstration, the DSNA and Thales have proven the viability of the key strategic aim of 4-Flight, to provide a new generation of air traffic management systems, integrating new advanced flight data processing systems with Thales’s latest generation human machine interface and sophisticated new controller tools.

2012 was also a seminal year for the members of COOPANS1. The Malmo and Copenhagen sites being given operational status provides the world with further proof of the effectiveness of the partnership between Thales and the five ANSP members. 2013 started in similar style with the Stockholm centre going live in January.

The more important and transformative projects Thales undertakes in its role as European leader, do not distract the group from serving the needs and requirements of all its customers. In late 2012 Thales were selected for the first commercial airport for the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, helping connect one of the world’s most remote inhabited regions. Whilst HungaroControl, a state owned company operating a state-of-the-art air traffic control centre in Budapest, awarded Thales the Best Business Partner accolade. In Late 2012 Thales was also awarded the contract for modernisation of the Cypriot ATM systems with the implementation of the TopSky-ATC and TopSky Simulator systems, significantly increasing capacity with additional positions and the performances with some advanced functionalities.

“Europe is home. Our roots are here and we learned what it means to be a leader in air traffic management in these skies, and in 2012 we continue to fulfill this legacy by helping Europe to secure its future.” explained Luc Mestrallet Thales Director of Sales for Europe. “The genetic makeup of our portfolio of solutions is borne of decades of development in this, the oldest air network in the world. The solutions we now develop, to ensure Europe maintains growth and development whilst taking on newer challenges of noise and carbon pollution, congestion and saturation, are what make Thales the global leader in air traffic management. We are particularly proud of the latest innovations and the accolades received here in Europe, notably, to have a range of our products selected for Frankfurt International Airport, one of the busiest and most complex airspaces in the world, shows the continued belief of our clients in our systems.”

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