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NATS unveils real-time flight efficiency tool

Air traffic controllers are now able to analyse the environmental efficiency of flights in near real-time, thanks to a new tool developed by NATS.

The Flight Optimisation System, or ‘FLOSYS’, takes real radar data, updated every three minutes, and combines it with NATS’ 3Di airspace efficiency metric to produce a graphical representation of every flight in UK airspace.

Controllers can then analyse the efficiency of an individual aircraft through every phase of flight and airspace sector, as well as compare it against other flights along the same route up to 12 months ago, including the average and best performing.

By having access to this granularity of data for the first time, controllers and airspace managers will be able to better identify the opportunities for operational improvements that will save airlines fuel and cut carbon emissions.

dallas's picture

Near miss at Metro Airport lesson in split-second skill

In May, a Boeing 737 was speeding down the runway for takeoff at Detroit Metro Airport when a CRJ regional jet crossed the runway directly in front of it.

The regional jet had driven onto an active runway, unaware of the danger.

Abort takeoff, urged the air traffic control tower. Too late. The 737 was going too fast. The captain took the plane nose-up and barely over the top of the CRJ, clearing it by only 75 to 100 feet.

It was a dire, split-second near miss.

Followed by a complete return to normal.

We know this story because of a federal program called the Aviation Reporting Safety System, in which crews and controllers can report near-miss situations without investigation or repercussions, in order to make flying safer.

Giorgos's picture

LFV first in the world to have an operating licence for remote towers

LFV has received an operating licence for remote tower services from the Swedish Transport Agency. This will make Örnsköldsvik Airport the first airport in the world to have remote air traffic control services.

“Remotely controlled towers are a world-first that is the result of close cooperation between LFV, the airports in Örnsköldsvik and Sundsvall and Saab and the engagement of a whole region. The issuing of the operating licence means that we have passed a quite crucial milestone on the path to commissioning. The objective is to go live during the first quarter of 2015. I want to thank everyone who has helped to make remotely controlled towers a reality through their knowledge, ideas and commitment,” says LFV’s Director General Olle Sundin.

Trainee air traffic controller indicted in Total CEO plane crash, says Investigative Committee

The investigation has indicted trainee air traffic controller Svetlana Krivsun in the criminal case concerning the crash of a Dassault Falcon 50 aircraft at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport.

"Trainee air traffic controller Svetlana Krivsun was indicted today for committing a crime covered by Russian Criminal Code Article 263 Part 3 (violation of aircraft safe operation rules involving the deaths of two or more people through carelessness). She has been questioned as a defendant," Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax on Wednesday.

The Investigative Committee earlier detained chief airfield service engineer Vladimir Ledenev, flight operations officer Roman Dunayev, air traffic controller Alexander Kruglov, and snowplow driver Vladimir Martynenko, Markin said.

"The investigation into the criminal case is continuing," he said.

Jean46's picture

Moscow Airport Managers Resign, More Suspects Detained Over Crash

Top managers at a Moscow airport have resigned and four more airport workers have been detained over a plane crash that killed the chief executive of French oil giant Total.

Christophe de Margerie and three French crew members died when a corporate jet collided with a snow-removal machine at Vnukovo Airport late on October 20.

The Investigative Committee said on October 23 that prosecutors had detained an air-traffic controller intern, her supervisor, the head of air-traffic controllers, and the chief of runway cleaning.

Meanwhile, the airport announced the resigntion of its director-general, Andrei Dyakov, and his deputy, Sergei Solntsev.

And a Moscow court ordered that the snowplough driver, who was detained immediately after the accident, remain in custody until December 21.

The driver says he has lost his bearings before the collision and that he was unaware he had entered the runway.

2_b_or_not's picture

Twenty near misses fly over Saudi Arabia a year

Incidents of aircraft passing too close to each other in Saudi airspace have increased to reach at least seven times the international rate, with around 20 incidents annually.

The international average of such incidents is one to three cases maximum a year. Quoting sources of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Makkah Daily reported on Monday that Saudi air traffic controllers have been warning about this for more than 13 years but have received no real response.

Since 2002, the controllers have been writing numerous letters to the concerned authorities warning of decreasing air safety in the Kingdom. The sources said the controllers were particularly worried that an early warning system that detects when aircraft pass close by each other in the air had not been working for four years now. According to sources, the number of air controllers in the Kingdom has decreased while pressure on them was increasing.

Passenger plane and THREE US fighter jets escape 'near miss' at 33,000ft

The Boeing 737 and the F15s came "too close" after radio confusion during a training exercise.

The fighter jets avoided what was described by experts as a potentially "very serious incident" after a communication breakdown.

The near-miss involving the F15s and the Boeing 737 occurred after radio problems with military air traffic controllers.

A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman said the F15 pilots made procedural errors and they did not have clearance to fly in the airspace.

He said: "The potential for a very serious incident had been present."

The incident happened in upper airspace (around 33,000ft) above Montrose in Scotland on April 7.

It was detailed in a report published by the UK Airprox Board today. An Airprox is otherwise known as a near-miss between planes.

loulou's picture

FAA off course on air traffic controllers

This year, U.S. flights experienced their worst rate of delays in 20 years, with nearly 1 in 4 domestic flights being delayed.

Now the federal government is going to make matters even worse. The thousands of air traffic controllers who were hired during the 1981 Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) strike are reaching mandatory retirement.  

Over the past several years, the FAA bewilderingly has not hired or trained enough new controllers to make up for these well-documented and impending mass retirements. Further, the efficacy of the FAA’s current controller workforce has come into question even more, as the FAA actually reduced controller hiring, which now requires them to play catch-up with a surge of new training over the next two years to fill critical soon-to-be vacant controller positions.  

Giorgos's picture

Ryanair planes' wings collide at Dublin Airport

Two Ryanair planes came into contact with each other at Dublin Airport this morning, leading to minor delays.

The wing tips of the two aircraft clipped each other as one was taxiing to a stand.

No passengers were injured in the incident.

Fire tenders were deployed as a precautionary measure.

A spokesperson for the Dublin Airport Authority said the airport is fully operational, although there were "minor" delays to some flights.

She said the incident happened on a taxi-way area and the main runways are not affected.

The spokesperson said this section of airport would be off-bounds for aircraft for a time, and it would mean departing and arriving planes would take a slightly longer route to and from runways.

In a statement this afternoon, Ryanair said: "Two of our aircraft were taxiing slowly to the runway at Dublin Airport this morning.

Alert Qantas pilots dodge mid-air collision

A NEAR-miss between two Qantas planes would have been even closer had the pilots waited for a confused RAAF air-traffic controller to respond to the collision alarm, a safety report has found.

The two Boeing aircraft came too close in October 2012 while flying near the shared civil-military airport at Darwin.

Due to a transponder coding mistake, the RAAF approach controller was unable to properly track the 717 twin-engine on the radar.

That meant when a predicted collision alarm went off, the RAAF controller had “a significant level of confusion” as to the most reliable information - resulting in a 15-second delay.

Fortunately the pilots of the 717 had already identified the potential threat from their own computer systems.

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