The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has launched a media campaign to make a case for the use of business aircraft during the current economic recession. It is asking its members to distribute a letter written by EBAA president Brian Humphries that explains the benefits of business aviation to their local newspapers and media outlets.
European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation
A September ICAO NextGen/Sesar Forum in Montreal underscored the fact that the U.S. and Europe are following different paths to a future air traffic management system. Officials managing the FAA’s NextGen and Europe’s Sesar–for Single European Sky ATM Research–agree that by 2025 traffic is expected to double, and maybe even triple, and that today’s control systems will not be able to handle the increase.
“Rumors of our death are greatly exaggerated,” according to European Regions Airline Association (ERA) director-general Mike Ambrose. However, the industry is facing major obvious challenges, including “high fuel prices, worldwide economic crisis, loss of consumer confidence, falling traffic and severely reduced prospects for growth and profitability even in traditionally strong markets.”
European Regions Airline Association members face three “front-line” issues as they prepare for their annual general assembly in Manchester, England, this month: the environment, the so-called Single European Sky (SES) and safety regulation. Director-general Mike Ambrose concedes that the industry’s concerns haven’t changed much over the past year, but the scrutiny on these topics has become “more intense” since the last general assembly.
The NextGen testbed facility at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach campus is gearing up for a demonstration in November that will advance en route automation modernization (ERAM) and traffic management advisor (TMA) capabilities. ERAM, a replacement for the FAA’s Host computer, is expected to be installed at all 20 U.S. en route centers by 2010.
Beginning this October, new-build Boeing 737 jetliners will use GE Aviation Systems flight-management system (FMS) update 10.8 software. The change provides increased navigation database capacity (with room for growth) and accommodates different performance of 737s fitted with winglets. FMSs allow operators to meet required navigation performance standards for separation from the ground or other aircraft.
Eurocontrol has introduced a new screen-to-screen datalink between pilots and air traffic controllers at its Maastricht upper-area control (UAC) center in the Netherlands. The controller-pilot datalink communication (CPDLC) system supplements existing voice contact by allowing text messages between screens in the cockpit and on the ground to reduce workload at both ends.
While the FAA has decided to postpone the introduction of controller/pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) in the NAS, Eurocontrol has stated its intent to move forward with an ambitious datalink-implementation program.
On May 6, a long-term solution to Europe’s air traffic control congestion problems came a giant step closer with the launch of the Single European Sky (SES) development phase.
In a briefing sponsored by the Flight Safety Foundation in Wash- ington last month, David McMillan, director general of Eurocontrol, told aviation media that the European Union’s Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) program must have similar systems to the FAA’s NextGen to ensure interoperability.