SESAR project keeps runway safe

SESAR members have recently completed the first phase of a validation exercise1 at Paris – Charles de Gaulle Airport aimed at improving the safety for vehicles operating on airport runways and the surrounding manoeuvring area.

Conducted by the SESAR European Airports Consortium (SEAC), together with its partners DSNA and Eurocontrol, the exercise validated the use of an additional screen fitted in the vehicle to display an Airport Moving Map (AMM) and surrounding traffic, and a system that generates warnings to the vehicle driver in case of an imminent dangerous situation. Warnings can include those related to possible collisions with an aircraft on a runway or on a taxiway, and infringements of a runway or of a closed or restricted area.

In order to reflect realistic operational conditions, the exercise made use of one runway and a part of the taxiway system at Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport during night closure and two prearranged time windows of one hour during daytime operations. To generate relevant alerts, drivers were instructed to perform a number of different operations with a second vehicle simulating an aircraft. For the alerts prompted by the inbound aircraft, live arrival flow data of a runway in use were transferred to the test vehicle display.

Seven drivers and fifteen observers from DSNA, Eurocontrol and the SEAC airports (Aéroports de Paris, Fraport, Munich Airport and Zurich Airport) participated in the first phase of the validation. Initial feedback from the drivers and the observers was very positive and contained very useful information for further improving the concept.

Commenting on the exercise, Gérard Batistella, Single European Sky Director, Aéroports de Paris, said:  "This exercise is a good example of the excellent cooperation between the local airport stakeholders and involved SESAR members. With this exercise, we will be able to demonstrate the capability to increase the level of safety in a complex airport environment.”

RégisLacote, Director AIRES AERONAUTIQUES, Charles de Gaulle Airport, said: "The validation exercise was a very exciting opportunity for the airside operations and IT teams of Aéroports de Paris to push forward concept and systems that we have all had in mind for years in order to enhance safety. Thanks to SESAR this is becoming a reality. The exercises were also a great opportunity to share experiences about safety with other airports and stakeholders of airside operations.”

The second phase of validation has now started at Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport and consists of a two month trial period in which five vehicles (four from ADP and one from DSNA), equipped with the system, will be used in daily operations by a group of dedicated and trained drivers.  The completion of the second part of the validation is scheduled for mid-July and detailed results are expected to be available in November 2015.

The validation contributes to the overall goal of delivering as SESAR Solution of “Enhanced Traffic Situational Awareness and Airport Safety Nets for vehicle drivers”.