Eurocontrol future-proofs network operations

Eurocontrol has signed an essential contract for flight, flow and airspace applications.

The Brussels-based organisation said it recognised that it needed to move away from legacy Waterfall development, the traditional sequential eight-step design process (conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, implementation, and maintenance), to an Agile framework incorporating an iterative, incremental software development approach, elaborated by self-organising, cross-functional teams.

“Our ultimate aim is to enable and lead the phased implementation of an extensive range of new Network Management system functionalities, while at the same time ensuring the business continuity of all Network Manager systems currently in operations, ” it said.

“To help us achieve this aim, we have contracted the SopraSteria Consortium, composed of the companies SopraSteria and Eurocity, to develop software in our Enhanced Tactical Flight Management System (ETFMS) flight and the integrated Initial Flight Plan Processing System (IFPS) domains, and we have contracted the Innovdata Consortium (Cegeka and Thales) for software assistance with our Airspace Environment system, known as ENV.”

It has opted to split the contracts between the two domains because:

  • with the combination of two consortia, it will have access to greater agility and more profound experience;
  • on facing complex IT challenges, the two can provide diversified offers for technological innovation;
  • two consortia give better opportunities in the pooling of resources;
  • with both consortia, Eurocontrol can expect to have speedier interaction with its customers.

The contracts for the two consortia are for an initial five-year period with two potential one-year extensions. The programme begins this year and, if the extensions are taken up, will end in 2025.

“Eurocontrol absolutely has to keep up with the latest technologies – like machine learning, artificial intelligence, probability modelling, blockchain – so as to deliver the best possible services to our stakeholders. SopraSteria and Innovdata will help us do this,” said Eammon Brennan, director general of Eurocontrol.

Joe Sultana, director, Network Manager, pointed out that: The Eurocontrol Network Manager is a mission-critical function needing H24/D7 business continuity. Besides, we have to show the lead in implementing System-Wide Information Management – SWIM – in Europe and so underpin the digital transformation of European air traffic management. These new contracts will allow us to do this.”

Read: Eurocontrol chooses Thales to strengthen cyber security and digitalisation of air traffic services

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