NAV Portugal exports the MARIA project

At the end of July 2020 NAV Portugal signed the contract for the supply of the Model of ATM Reality in Action (MARIA) project to BULATSA, the Bulgarian air navigation service provider (ANSP). The contract includes the licence for use of the model together with the initial and advanced training, along with the modelling services for one of the Bulgarian control units. 

The contract signed with BULATSA arose as a result of a series of visits and requests for information received by NAV about the MARIA project, not only from Bulgaria but from other countries as well. 

“NAV Portugal is proud to share with BULATSA the internally developed MARIA model and looks forward to a fruitful cooperation. We embrace this challenge, willing to support our fellow ANSP and, in the process, learn and improve the model and the associated processes”, commented Paula Santos, responsible for the MARIA project at NAV Portugal. 

Nikolay Sokolov, Director Safety and Quality of BULATSA, explained that “following the participation of BULATSA in one of the workshops on the MARIA co-organised by EUROCONTROL and NAV Portugal, we recognised the tremendous achievement behind the development of the model and we took the opportunity to further improve our process of change management. 

The model is a powerful instrument which is intended to be harmonised with our internal change management processes to provide in great detail all linked elements of the change within our functional systems. We are also happy to contribute towards the possible further enhancement of the model”, added Nikolay Sokolov. 

In 2019, the MARIA project was recognised as one of the eight projects that contributed the most to the reduction of risks associated with aviation by CANSO. Created from scratch by NAV Portugal since 2012, the project was initially based on a series of interviews with managers and users of air traffic control systems, complemented by the observation of real operations, and has evolved over the years as a result of its use. MARIA aims to compile and systematise information mainly from the air traffic control system, including not only the functions for which NAV is directly responsible but also those from the community with which ANSPs interact. 

The model documents the interdependencies between functions, information streams, resources and procedures from different areas, along with applicable national and international regulations. MARIA is now used by NAV Portugal for the anticipation and identification of hazards to make safety assessments more accurate and efficient while also describing the entirety of the architecture of the air traffic management system and the control units.