Vietnam | November 17, 2016– NAVBLUE, the new Airbus subsidiary dedicated to flight operations and air traffic management, announced today that it has finalized a contract to implement the ATM Cooperation Program in Vietnam to enhance safety and efficiency. The project will focus on the country’s two largest airports in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi to realize gains from both an international perspective as well as from a flow-efficiency perspective between the two cities.

With an anticipated air-passenger annual growth rate of 16-18%, the VATM and Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) believe it’s necessary for the country to start building today procedures, technologies and skill sets that will support the ongoing increase in demand at its existing two busiest airports– Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Noi Bai International Airport.

Said Mr. Pham Viet Dzung – Director General of VATM, “The increased air traffic capacity generated from this project will bolster the growing Vietnamese economy with its spin-off double-digit growth and intensification of air passengers, while respecting the environmental and social impact of this growth.”

The project delivered over a three-year period and will include a comprehensive air traffic management analysis including a safety assessment, a redesign of existing sectors and designs making extensive use of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and a change programme with training and cultural management components.

Of note to the contract is its customized approach to a complex and challenging, multi-stakeholder project that sees each party agree on common goals that reward each stakeholder. This collaborative approach allows for the country to lay out an actionable plan that ensures truly sustainable future air traffic. The project will see collaboration between the country’s three top airlines Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, and Jetstar Pacific, Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Noi Bai International Airport in conjunction with VATM and the CAAV.

Said the NAVBLUE Chief Commercial & Communication Officer, Paul-Franck Bijou, “This project has all the benefits that NAVBLUE, as a subject matter expert organization, likes to get involved with by helping our customers, airlines, airports and civil aviation authorities, to succeed in building today so that they may sustainably embrace the future of an increasingly mobile society.”

  • Joint initiative will bring data link communications to the 21st century, resulting in optimised airspace and airport capacity, plus reduction in flight times, aircraft fuel burn and CO2 emissions
  • Consortium of over 30 leading aviation and space companies have joined the project, including Airbus, Boeing, NATS, Thales Alenia Space, and the Iris programme’s first airline partner, Alitalia

United Kingdom | March 8, 2016– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to enhance Air Traffic Management (ATM) in Europe with a new generation of satellite-based data link communications.

Under the Iris Service Evolution programme, Inmarsat will head-up a consortium of over 30 leading companies from across the aviation industry to develop a technical, commercial and operational roadmap that meets Europe’s long-term requirements for enhanced air traffic communications.

The programme will focus on using advanced satellite technology to improve aeronautical data link services, enabling flight plans to be updated continuously, even while aircraft are on route to their destination. This will lead to the significant optimisation of European airspace and airport capacity, in addition to overall reductions in flight times, fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

Iris Service Evolution supports the Single European Skies ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan for the next-generation of air traffic management, which offers a high-level view of the critical developments that are required to deliver a high-performing aviation system for Europe.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Air traffic management is under great pressure and there is no doubt that the digitalisation of cockpit communication is a vital building block of the future, opening the door for airlines to truly benefit from enhanced data utilisation.

“Iris will mark a new era of communication in the aviation industry and places Europe at the forefront of ATM innovation. Inmarsat pioneered satellite data link services in oceanic areas 25 years ago and we look forward to now bringing this expertise and knowledge to continental airspace. Together with ESA and members of the Iris consortium, we will demonstrate the important contribution that Iris will make to air traffic management in Europe.”

Iris Service Evolution builds on the Iris Precursor contract awarded to Inmarsat by ESA in November 2014, under which an initial set of services was developed to complement existing, but congested terrestrial data link services. The services, which address the aviation industry’s short-to-medium term ATM needs, are supported by Inmarsat’s next-generation SwiftBroadband Safety (SB-S) satcom system, an evolution of its existing high-capacity L-band SwiftBroadband system.

Iris Precursor achieved a milestone on 23rd February 2016, when the first test flight was operated between Toulouse and the Baleares Islands, passing above Madrid. The two-hour-and-40-minute flight, operated using an Airbus A330 aircraft, successfully performed initial 4D (i4D) flight path control and Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) exchanges with Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC). It also tested the handover between Inmarsat satellite spot beams.

Iris Precursor is expected to support CPDLC and i4D flight path control by 2018, with the exchange of information coming directly from avionic systems. In the longer term, Iris will evolve to support Full 4D and operate in a highly secure multi-link environment with future terrestrial data links, enabling more efficient traffic management by synchronising trajectories between air and ground.

Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at the European Space Agency (ESA), said: “Iris brings safer air traffic management to airlines and their passengers. It is an outstanding example of how cooperation between commercial partners and institutions can create effective technical solutions that improve our everyday lives and make European companies more competitive in the world markets.”

The Iris Service Evolution consortium gathers key players from air traffic management, air transport, aeronautics and the satcom industry, including Airbus, Boeing, NATS and Thales Alenia Space, together with the Iris programme’s first airline partner, Alitalia, the national carrier of Italy.

Giancarlo Schisano, Chief Operations Officer at Alitalia, said: “We are very proud of currently being the only airline which is partner of the Iris consortium. We will make our know-how available for this key project, which will revolutionise the aviation industry. We believe that satellite communications represent the natural development of the industry and will lead to concrete benefits to airlines and their travellers due to reduced flight times, more savings on fuel consumption and an even more advanced flight safety.”

The ESA-Inmarsat collaboration was created following a major funding commitment approved at ESA’s 2012 Ministerial Council. While the programme will initially focus on Europe, the services will also benefit ATM operations in North America, Asia Pacific and other regions around the world where the growth of air traffic is placing a strain on ground-based networks.

  • Brazilian low-cost carrier is first airline in the Americas to deploy Flight Tracker

Geneva | August 18, 2015– Azul is the first airline in the Americas to deploy SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, The service was activated on 1 August. Brazil’s leading low cost carrier, flying to 100 destinations across the country, can now track flights in real time on every route.

“FlightTracker’s momentum is building rapidly as more and more airlines across the world start using it to meet industry requirements for tracking each and every flight at all times,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir.

FlightTracker was the obvious choice for Azul. From its beginnings in 2008, it has used SITA OnAir AIRCOM® technology, making the addition of FlightTracker a simple software upgrade to the ground-based server. Now Azul can track its entire fleet of Embraer 190 and 195s, ATR 72-600s and Airbus A330s. The A320neos and A350s that Azul has on order will also be tracked as soon as they enter service.

Video about AIRCOM FlightTracker

FlightTracker uses multiple sources of data, including air traffic control information, terrestrial and satellite feeds, and the airline’s flight plans, to provide real-time aircraft position monitoring. These include theDepartment of Airspace Control’s air traffic management network, which is managed by SITA. FlightTracker generates automatic alerts when an aircraft goes outside pre-determined parameters, giving flight controllers full information at all times.

“Our flight tracking brief, through ICAO and IATA, was two-fold,” says Dawkins. “Flight operations teams need to be able to follow aircraft positions and identify any unexpected deviations or gaps in position reports, while using existing equipment and procedures, without adding significant cost. We can also exceed the initial specification for reports every 15 minutes, depending on an airline’s requirements.”

AIRCOM® FlightTracker is used in every phase of the flight. More frequent reports can also be provided, for example in the case of an emergency.

More than 90 airlines around the world use SITA OnAir’s AIRCOM® technology. Several have already deployed FlightTracker, with more expected to follow.