Saab Sensis and LFV, Sweden’s air navigation services provider (ANSP), are working toward certification of a “remote tower” (r-TWR) concept next year meant to allow air traffic controllers to manage aircraft operations at small and regional airports from a distance using cameras and other sensors. Authorities in Australia and Norway have begun testing the technology as well.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a separation error between two Airbus A330s on March 30 in the far-northwest corner of the continent.
The FAA has received reports from Eurocontrol, Airservices Australia and Nav Canada that the mode-S transponders of some U.S.-registered aircraft transmit a FLT ID that does not correlate to the aircraft identification indicated on the flight plan. This could lead to aircraft being misidentified.
Honeywell’s SmartPath precision-landing system yesterday became the only ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) to receive FAA approval. GBAS monitors GPS signals to detect errors and augment accuracy by transmitting correction messages to aircraft, providing precision-approach guidance to all qualifying runways at an airport.
When the Australians decide to go for something, they really go for it. Example: the FAA awarded its nationwide automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) contract in 2007. The Aussies did it more than three years earlier.
RAYTHEON BEECH KING AIR B200, WERNADINGA STATION, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, SEPT. 4, 2000–Investigators were unable to find the cause of the pilot’s apparent hypoxia incapacitation.
At the end of March, Airservices Australia (the country’s privatized ATC provider) announced that it had contracted with Thales of France to provide ADS-B ground stations at 28 sites, which would combine with the current coastal ATC radars to provide total surveillance coverage across the nation above 30,000 feet. Installations are forecast to be complete by the end of next year.
As an example of how ADS-B installation will work abroad, the Australian government and Airservices Australia, the country’s privatized ATC provider, proposed recently to cover the purchase and installation costs of ADS-B and GNSS avionics in approximately 11,000 Australian-registered aircraft with an mtow of less than 5,700 kg (12,500 pounds) under the nation’s ADS-B transition program.
Germany’s air navigation service provider (ANSP), Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), has agreed to buy the SITA network of 27 VHF datalink (VDL) ground stations in the country.
The air-traffic community gathered in the Netherlands last month to discuss the continually evolving options for modernizing ATC. The process is both helped and hindered by technologies that don’t seem to stand still long enough for decisions to endure, but the participants are learning to keep up with this rapid pace of advancement and deal with the slowly gelling cultures of Europe’s main players.