DFS, LVNL, Indra team on future technology

Germany’s DFS and its Dutch air navigation service counterpart LVNL are teaming up with technology supplier Indra to develop air traffic management systems known as iCAS (iTEC Centre Automation System) at control centres in Germany and at the Amsterdam centre in the Netherlands.
The partnership will kick off phase II of the iCAS project, which aims to equip the control centres in the lower airspace with a state-of-the-art solution to manage the airspace under their responsibility.
This system complements the solution that Indra will implement at the Karlsruhe Upper Airspace Control Centre in Germany, from which DFS controls flights above 24,500 feet (7.5 km) throughout most of Germany.
Phase I of iCAS will replace the current P1/VAFORIT system, also supplied by Indra, that DFS has been using since December 2010 to manage the majority of flights passing through Germany.
The new agreements strengthen ties of the international iTEC collaboration in general and between DFS and LVNL in particular by fostering the development of a common air traffic management system, representing a milestone of enormous importance on the European level.
Robert Schickling, COO of DFS and chairman of the iTEC Board, said: “It is a unique opportunity to be able to develop a common air traffic management system together with our cooperation partner LVNL. It is only by means of common standards that we can reach a better level of interoperability between our systems.
“At the same time, we can achieve high costs savings by no longer having to develop and maintain numerous system lines in parallel. A further objective of this cooperation is to search for more partners to develop world-class air traffic management systems.
“Only by working together can we realise the vision of the Single European Sky (SES) and deliver more efficiency and higher service standards for the users of Europe’s skies. This collaboration means significant cost savings for the two navigation services suppliers.”
Michiel van Dorst, chief executive of LVNL said: “With the adoption of iCAS, we are building a new, innovative approach to the European air traffic control system. So that in the near future, flying will become more efficient and even safer at all levels. This is a great step forward in technology.
“This state-of-the-art air traffic control system will lead to fewer delays and reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. For more effective utilisation of the Netherlands’ airspace, iCAS will be used by both civil and military air traffic controllers.”
iCAS is an air traffic management system adapted to the requirements stipulated by DFS and LVNL based on Indra’s iTEC technology. DFS is one of the partners that fostered the creation of the iTEC alliance along with its British and Spanish counterparts, NATS and ENAIRE, and Indra as the technology supplier. Lithuania’s Oro Navigacija, Norway’s AVINOR and Poland’s PANSA are the latest navigation services suppliers to join the alliance.
iTEC is a highly advanced air traffic management system based on four-dimensional trajectory-based flight management that provides major savings in terms of time and fuel, resulting in a reduction of both CO2 emissions and costs for airlines, in addition to increasing the total capacity of the system.
These control centres form part of the extensive European network of control centres, those with the most traffic and complexity, which are to roll out iTEC technology in the next five years. This will consolidate the network of iTEC centres as one of the main pillars of the European Single Sky and its SESAR technological pillar, in which the members of the iTEC Alliance play a leading role.
The agreements reached with DFS and LVNL also contemplate the implementation of Indra’s new iTEC CWP air traffic control position at the control centres. It is a highly advanced system designed by Indra to facilitate controller interactions with the system in the most natural manner possible.
For this it incorporates a simple and intuitive interface to help controllers focus on the most relevant information, integrating it into a single work environment and allowing them to configure the information in accordance with their needs.