COOPANS demonstrates airspace delegation using virtual centres

Sweden’s LFV and its Danish counterpart Naviair have performed a technical demonstration of delegated air traffic management from Malmö to Copenhagen together with Thales – all members of the COOPANS industry alliance.

The event was executed within the framework of SESAR and demonstrations were carried out using the virtual centre concept: a geographical detachment of both work positions and data supply to the control centre.

Delegated air traffic management aims to improve efficiency and increase flexibility in the delivery of air traffic control for en route. The application of the virtual centre is possible in several areas, for example, in distributed training and testing of the latest versions of Thales’ TopSky air traffic management systems.

Annelie Frejås, project manager at LFV reports that during the October 10 exercise in Malmö, the validation was carried out according to a concept that is close to implementation. Two air traffic controller positions in Malmö and two air traffic controller positions in Copenhagen were supplied from a joint TopSky data centre in Paris.

The concept demonstrates opportunities to have a system in one geographical location and air traffic controllers in another, and to manage air traffic control across national borders. This creates opportunities to reduce costs by centralising and sharing technical infrastructure as well as air traffic control across national borders. This is one of the cornerstones of ATM’s master plan and its introduction in Europe is currently being discussed. COOPANS is considering how the concepts can be applied, says Ulf Thibblin, LFV chief technology officer.

Airspace was successfully delegated back and forth between Sweden and Denmark and the traffic flowed without interruption, noted Billy Josefsson, LFV’s R&D expert and Erik Langevi, COOPANS Project Manager.

Following the technical demonstration on October 10 in Malmö this SESAR Wave 1 project has completed although refinements of the concept will start immediately and continue in SESAR Wave 2 in 2020.

In an open panel event, invited participants from Thales, LFV, the Swedish Transport Agency and Naviair discussed the challenges of cyber security and current legislation and regulations plus the change management implications linked to cultural aspects that affect overall performance.