• 16th of July, 2020
    14:30 > 15:15
  • Broadcast from SESAR JU, Brussels , Belgium
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How will digital transformation build resilience in ATM? (Digital Sky vodcast)

This session discussed digitalisation and its impact on ATM, with a particular focus on building resilience into the ATM system.  It brought together Klaus Meier, the Chief Technology Officer of Skyguide, Switzerland’s ANSP, Ramon Tarrech, the ATM Strategy Development Director of Indra and Marc Baumgartner, a working controller and the SESAR Coordinator for IFATCA together with Florian Guillermet, the Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking.

What is stopping us rethinking ATM and resilience?

The biggest sticking point is the traditional structure of ATM in Europe.  Traditionally, ANSPs have worked vertically, with little interaction with neighbouring ANSPs other than at a tactical, operational level.  The crisis has given renewed momentum to move towards more horizontal communication and data transfer. 

What might a rethought ATM industry look like?

To be resilient ATM will need to be less geographically specific.  That will call for significantly more horizontal interaction between ANSPs, controllers and the Network Manager.  The pandemic has already shown us that a number of processes, from management to training, can be done remotely with no loss of productivity.  Going forward, the focus will need to be on flows and on trajectories, rather than sectors.  That will require effective data transfer between stakeholders, including airlines and airports, and that in turn will require standards to allow seamless connectivity.

The issue is not technology, since the necessary solutions are already available.  Rather, we need to address the procedures and the relationships between the stakeholders.  That will require recasting incentives between those stakeholders.

Specific proposals include:

  • Building horizontal connections;
  • Developing standards to facilitate horizontal communications;
  • Redesigning sectors along trajectories and in accordance with traffic flows.

How do we get there?

There is a clear need for collaboration and innovation.  That will call for sensible and focused investment, which in an environment of reduced liquidity will call for hard-nosed prioritisation and strong cooperation between stakeholders.   

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