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SINGAPORE AIRSHOW NEWS
Asia-Pacific makes small steps towards seamless ATM
The Asia-Pacific region still has a long way to
go towards implementing a seamless air traffic
plan with significant challenges ahead of it,
but progress is being made, according to Arun
Mishra, director Asia-Pacific at the International
Civil Aviation Organisation.
ICAO is assisting the region implement
a seamless air traffic management (ATM)
plan, based on harmonised ATM solutions,
incorporating ICAO block upgrades and civil-
military co-operation and 45 seamless aviation
Mishra says he does not have an answer
as to when the region can expect to have
a single Asian sky — like Europe’s Single
European Sky or the U.S. NextGen — but
the good news is that progress is being
made. “We’ve taken various elements of the
plan and are progressing on that,” he says.
“Amongst the major players in South Asia,
Southeast Asia and North Asia, we expect a
number of seamless sky elements to come out
in the next few years,” he adds. Mishra notes
that Europe has yet to achieve a single sky
and “they have everything going for them,”
namely the political framework. “We are very
optimistic we will make good progress in the
next few years,” he adds.
Collaboration is vital to progress, says
Mishra, pointing to the need for partnerships
with industry and regulators and suggesting
that industry could initially help states with low
levels of capabilities.
“I believe there are major challenges
that we are facing,” he said at a briefing
organised by ATM industry supplier Harris,
which specialises in communications
technology. Asia-Pacific’s strong growth
forecasts — 32 percent of global traffic —
leads to significant challenges in safety,
efficiency and sustainability, he says.
The main challenge for air navigation
service providers (ANSPs) is that there is a
vast difference in the capability of service
providers in the region, not just based on the
size of the state. “Air navigation service goes
beyond national boundaries,” Mishra says,
and yet many states in the Asia-Pacific region
have developed their own regional plans
with no co-ordination. “We have 40 different
states with different equipment and levels of
capability,” he laments.
Although a seamless plan for the region
was agreed in 2013, “we still have a long
way to go to implementation,” he says.
Cultural issues, including a lack of good
aviation culture in the region with less focus
on the Just Culture and effective consultation
and more focus on rule by edict and punitive
action against human error, is holding
back progress. Progress is also held back
by outdated systems and a need for large
investment by ANSPs, not all of which can
justify based on traffic volumes.
The implementation of new regional route
structures needs to be accelerated, with
bottlenecks particularly in areas where there
are low levels of civil-military cooperation,
which occurs in many parts of the region.
There also needs to be a focus on flow
management, he says, with a lack of capability
in balancing demand with capacity in many
parts of the region.
Emerging challenges are in the area of
cyber security, where the time has come to
invest heavily, says Mishra. “It’s becoming
critical, but most states are not focused on it
and it’s a serious safety risk. Its importance
is shown only when something happens
and then it’s too late,” he says. The Civil Air
Navigation Safety Organisation and some
states in the region are doing some good
work in this area, but industry needs to get
together on a global approach.
“Let’s turn the challenges into opportunities,”
says Simon Li, deputy director general of
civil aviation at Hong Kong Civil Aviation
Department. Hong Kong is working with its
neighbours, and airport and airline partners,
on regional initiatives, including air traffic
flow management and collaborative decision
making. Within its own flight information
region (FIR), it will mandate automatic
dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B)
from December and is modernising its ATM
system which will support the regional ATM
plan, says Li.
Meanwhile, The Civil Aviation Authority of
Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore’s Institute
for Infocomm Research (I2R) have agreed to
establish a joint laboratory to advance ATM
research and development. The new laboratory
is part of CAAS’ efforts to establish Singapore
as a centre of excellence for ATM. The CAAS
has been at the forefront of ATM research and
trials in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new laboratory will facilitate scientific
research on ATM to achieve innovation and
optimisation in operations, says CAAS. In
particular, it will focus on the application of
automatic speech recognition technology
to facilitate ATM operations; data analytics
for ATM performance measurement and
improvements; and the development of
advanced visualisation technologies to
facilitate the use of remotely operated airport
CAAS already has the ATM Research Institute
with the Nanyang Technological University and
the MITRE Asia Pacific Singapore centre with
the MITRE Corporation, as well as working with
Airbus ProSky, the European SESAR (Single
European Sky ATM Research) Joint Undertaking
and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
on ATM research and development.
CAAS also signed at the show an agreement
with Aireon to provide space-based ADS-B
data for the Singapore FIR. — Emma Kelly
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The G650ER can fly non-stop from the
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he new G650ER features
a luxurious two-cabin
configuration that can seat
up to 13 passengers.
3/03/2016 7:15:57 PM
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