HungaroControl develops new software to assist management of cleaner and quieter arrival procedures
Mon 15 Apr 2013 – HungaroControl, the provider of air navigation services in Hungary, has developed software it believes will help facilitate the implementation of CO2-reducing continuous descent approach (CDA) procedures across Europe. It says its MergeStrip program automatically performs calculations that will allow air traffic controllers to manage multiple, simultaneous CDAs into an airport with minimal interventions. The result is that arriving aircraft are able to fly along a constantly descending path into an airport rather than being required to level off at intervals by ATC. In its 2009 CDA action plan, Eurocontrol hoped that successful Europe-wide introduction of such procedures would save 500,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
According to HungaroControl, current systems designed to assist air traffic controllers in the management of CDAs do not produce adequate routings and landing schedules for multiple flights. This requires the controllers to make frequent interventions, requesting arriving aircraft to level off and thereby diminishing the operational and environmental benefits of the procedure.
After two years of development, the designers of the MergeStrip software believe it has resolved these problems. After analysing real-world data from aircraft performing CDAs, HungaroControl says its software orders the landing schedule of multiple aircraft arriving at an airport via CDA procedures by performing calculations based on their position and speed. It also shows the controller where preliminary interventions may be necessary in order to maintain the most efficient flow of landing operations. However, HungaroControl is keen to point out the software does not make any decisions for controllers as it only processes the data in a way that facilitates their own decision making.
HungaroControl claims the system, which it says costs only a fraction of existing software used to assist continuous descent operations (CDO), has received significant interest from the air navigation community and is likely to be adopted throughout Europe. It was presented to the air navigation community at Eurocontrol’s CDO Workshop last month.