EANA, Argentina’s air navigation service provider, has taken a major step in the history of the country’s air navigation service by kicking off redesign work for the Baires TMA.
An international consortium led by Indra’s consultancy arm ALG and comprising Germany’s DSF Aviation Services, US-based Tetra Tech and Italy’s IDS, won the contract through an international, open tender and is now in charge of reshuffling Argentina’s largest and busiest TMA with high goals of enhanced safety, increased capacity and environmental sustainability.
Shaping a more efficient terminal area like Baires while enhancing safety and capacity with efficiency gains poses a number of challenges given the geographical closeness of the airports under the TMA. Flight paths of one airport are sometimes dependant on traffic on the other. EANA have been designing and implementing PBN charts countrywide and will end 2019 with over 85 per cent of commercial runways offering PBN operation. The Baires project is now the ANSP’s biggest challenge in terms of airspace design.
Centred round Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area, and bordering with Uruguayan airspace to the east, the Baires TMA comprehends four airports handling roughly 50 per cent of total commercial air traffic. Aircraft movements in the area have been increasing steadily in the last few years as the federal government pushed ahead with a policy of growing air transport.
Commercial air traffic volumes are unevenly spread though; Jorge Newbery metropolitan airport handled 57,915 aircraft movements between January and June 2019, Ezeiza international 42,138, El Palomar (a military airbase partly converted to also handle low-cost traffic) 4,819, and San Fernando (mostly executive flights) 20,840. In addition, Morón airfield, located close to El Palomar, is also a converted military base. Nowadays housing many flight schools and a few aircraft repair shops, Morón handled 32,090 flights over the same period this year.
Some of the main goals of the Baires redesign project include reduced controller-pilot communications and controller workload; introduction of PBN-based SID/STAR/IACs with flight path separation already included in the design stage, flight level windows and parallel trajectories; plus new designs for visual airplane as well as helicopter corridors within and under the Radar I & II CTA and TMA. Even though it continues to replace outdated navaids across the board, EANA said increased availability of PBN charts will make the TMA less dependent of ground-based equipment and lessen the need for new investments in hardware.
The Baires TMA redesign project will proceed in four stages, namely: Planning (2019-2021), Design (2020-2021) Validation (throughout 2021); and Staff Training (1Q2022) & Implementation (2022). EANA said the resulting redesign of the TMA will be more customer-oriented and more environmentally friendly thanks to savings in fuel burn.
As part of the project, most aviation-related organizations – civil as well as military – and civilian bodies upholding citizens’ rights, are to be invited in order to integrate a design group so that their views are duly represented.