Why does Naviair need a new air traffic management system?
The old system, which went into operation in 1988 and which is based on 25-year-old technology, will not be able to handle the increased traffic that we will see in the future.
- and what will it be able to do?
The new air traffic management system will be able to handle the increasing air traffic in the future and we will also be prepared the harmonisation of the European airspace, including air traffic management equipment. That will provide major advantages, economic and traffic-wise, for the European air transport industry.
What does the new air traffic management system mean for controllers?
First and foremost, the new air traffic management system means that the risk of human error is reduced because computer technology will support the controllers' work to a great extent. Specificly it means that the paper strips will disappear and that all the information about an aircraft's course, altitude and speed will be delivered electronically from controller to controller, without the controller having to look away from the radar screen. All the systems are duplicated—at least once, so that any errors in the computer systems will not have any affect on the management of the air traffic.
What does the new air traffic management system mean for pilots?
The pilots will not experience any major changes. They will continue to experience safe and smooth air traffic management, whether it is during transit through Danish airspace or concerning take-offs and landings in Danish airports. Pilots will not notice any difference in the communication with air traffic controllers and procedures and flight routes will not change at all.
What does the new air traffic management system mean for Naviair's customers, that is, the airlines and the airports?
First and foremost, that we can maintain our high standard of safety even with increasing air traffic. Additionally we will obtain higher capacity in our airspace and thereby be able to handle more aircraft in the air simultaneously without delays.
What does the new air traffic management system consist of?
The new air traffic management system consists primarily of capable people and an efficient organization. In addition, the heart of the system is a new control center with many advanced integrated computer systems that monitor and control traffic in the entire Danish airspace. Kastrup airport has also got a completely new control tower, from which controllers direct all take-offs and landings as well as taxiing traffic in the airport area. In the airports at Billund and Roskilde new traffic control equipment is also being installed for air traffic control of approach and departure traffic and regional traffic in the area around the airports.
When will the new air traffic management system go into operation?
Essentially when the Danish Civil Aviation Administration gives final approval to the system. We expect that this will take place during December, when all the tests are completed. The changeover itself is planned for 28 December 2007 and will begin with cleaning out all the old data from the system and moving the new data stream over a little at a time. At 8 p.m. we will occupy the new working positions and data will be updated so that it is ready for use. At the same time we will man the technical monitoring and no later than 1 a.m. on 29 December we will change over. On 31 December the old system will be shut down.
Will air traffic be affected by the shift to the new air traffic management system?
We are shifting over at a time when air traffic is very low. Even so, we expect that brief delays will occur during the months of January and February. This is because flight safety has top priority. That means that we will limit the maximum number of aircraft simultaneously in the airspace because it takes time to run in a new air traffic management system and to give employees practice in using the new system. But all experience shows that the running-in curve will be steep and that in the course of a few months capacity will again be back to normal.
How many delays will there be and how long will they be?
We expect that there can be delays during the first three months of operation. The delays will occur when air traffic during peak hours has to be evened out over a longer period.
What will happen if the new air traffic management system breaks down?
For Naviair, operational safety and system stability have absolute top priority. An advanced monitoring system ensures that any system errors are identified and corrected instantaneously. All the technical systems are duplicated and backups have been established for the most important systems. If a system breaks down, another one takes over.
Who are the suppliers for the new air traffic management system?
The main system in the new control center is called DATMAS (Danish Air Traffic Management System), which is supplied by the French company Thales. The new control tower technology was developed in collaboration with our Canadian sister organization NAV Canada. There are also a number of other equipment suppliers.
What did the new air traffic management system cost?
DKK 1228.4 million (2005 prices).