in Aerospace / Space

North Atlantic space-based ADS-B trial reaches next milestone

Posted 25 October 2019 · Add Comment

The transformation of air traffic services over the North Atlantic has taken another step forward this month with the trial introduction of new reduced lateral aircraft separations.

Courtesy Dotted Yeti / Shutterstock

The minimum distance between aircraft ‘wing tip to wing tip’ has been reduced from 23 to 19 nautical miles (nm), enabling greater flexibility in how available airspace capacity is used.
It follows the reduction in the minimum safe ‘nose to tail’ separation between aircraft from 40nm to 14nm in March and represents another step towards the end of the traditional system of rigid oceanic tracks, something that will give airlines greater opportunity to fly the most efficient routes and levels, reducing fuel burn and harmful emissions.
The change has been made possible following the introduction of near real-time aircraft surveillance using the Aireon global space-based ADS-B service. At the end of March, NATS and NAV CANADA started an operational trial of satellite-based ADS-B surveillance to improve the safety, predictability and fuel efficiency of air traffic over the North Atlantic; the world’s busiest oceanic airspace with over 500,000 flights a year.
The ADS-B service has augmented the traditional ADS-C messaging system that delivers aircraft position reports every 14 minutes, with low-latency updates at least every 8 seconds. That leap has made it possible to safely position aircraft closer together, freeing up capacity on the most fuel and environmentally efficient routes while also making the airspace safer.
Martin Donnan, NATS director Prestwick, said: “Our trial has been going extremely well and we’re delighted to have progressed its scope as planned. We’re starting to see the realisation of benefits for our airline customers and we’re able to offer the flight levels and routes they want more often, while also enabling them to fly at their preferred speeds.”
Since the trial began at the end of March, 4,414 flights have been assigned more fuel-efficient levels, and over 3,400 have been able to fly more direct routes than over the same period in 2018. Over 52,000 flights - more than a third of all eastbound crossings – were also able to fly their most cost-efficient speed, totalling more than 45,000 flight hours. In October the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) recognised Aireon, NAV CANADA and NATS with their Annual Industry Award for the successful deployment of space-based ADS-B technology over the North Atlantic.
Donnan continues: “The changes enabled through our new ADS-B service allow us to provide a better, more fuel and environmentally efficient service for our customers. It’s also fundamentally safer, with our controllers now able to prevent, detect and recover far more quickly when a flight deviates from the cleared trajectory assigned by air traffic control.”
NATS and NAV CANADA are continuing to collect data during the course of their trials and expect to further reduce lateral separations to 15nm from November 2020 when ICAO is due to formally publish new separation standards. 


* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

ADIPEC 2019: BMT delivers mooring line monitoring system for Helang FPSO

BMT teams with LMC on turret moored FPSO for field development

WeaponLogic Unveils for the first time at Milipol

WeaponLogic (Secubit) & #8210; a leader in advanced weapon readiness and maintenance solutions for global military and paramilitary forces as well as law enforcement and HLS agencies ‒ unveils for the first time at

DASA awards 2m contracts to counter hostile drone threats

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has awarded nearly £2 million to develop new capabilities to detect, disrupt and defeat the hostile and malicious use of drones.

UK Space Agency confirms 7.35m funding for small sat launch from Cornwall

It has been confirmed this week that the UK Space Agency will award £7.35 million to Virgin Orbit UK Limited, the UK branch of US launch operator Virgin Orbit, to enable horizontal launch of small satellites at Cornwall Airport

Rolls-Royce appoints George Culmer as a Non-Executive Director

Rolls-Royce today announced the appointment of George Culmer as a Non-Executive Director. He will join the Board with effect from 2nd January 2020 and will become a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee, the Audit

Tech Nation to support growth of UK Lawtech

British technology firm Tech Nation has been awarded £2 million of government funding to help support the digital transformation of the UKs legal sector.

See us at
FIL20BT010819260720DSEI JP BT1605201119SMI FAV BT1006141119SMI ActiveP BT1206121119VIDSE BT1605060320S&P BT241019040320