Enhanced ground controller situation awareness in all weather conditions
With increased air traffic to and from Europe, airports are faced with the challenge of more ground operations and surface traffic moving across runways, taxiways and aprons. SESAR airport safety nets are tools to detect and provide alerts for safety critical issues (e.g. risk of collision, route deviations, etc.) on the airport surface, and include runway conflicting ATC clearance detection, conformance monitoring alerts for tower controllers, among others.
Exercises in Madrid and Milan validated the use of several prototypes of airport safety nets for tower controllers. The safety nets were assessed for their ability to identify vehicles and aircraft mobiles in the ground area, and notify controllers of any potential runway incursions or area intrusions. The coexistence with already deployed alerts (runway incursions, area intrusions), presenting new alerts to the controllers were also jointly validated.
The results were as follows:
• Operational acceptance of airport safety nets, with some adjustments such as filters for prioritising and displaying alerts, and a refining route planning feature;
• Increased situational awareness in low visibility conditions;
• Enhanced safety thanks to the generation of real alerts.
The validation results for this solution are conclusive and sufficient to support a decision for industrialisation.