Europe is edging closer to its goal of a fully interoperable flight data processing (FDP) capability with implementation of initial software at some major centres.
French air navigation service provider (ANSP) DSNA began live trials using 4-Flight automation software, which includes new Coflight flight data processing, at its Reims area control centre in January 2017. Controllers at the second pilot centre, Aix-en-Provence, successfully handled night-time overflights in mid-March using the new software, which is designed to interface directly with the Network Manager to deliver optimum flight profiles.
Coflight is the result of the Thales-Leonardo industrial consortium contracted to deliver a common FDP solution by DSNA and Italian ANSP ENAV, and has also been selected by skyguide of Switzerland and MATS of Malta. DSNA plans to conduct further trials, which will include daytime flights.
ENAV plans to start tests with 4-Flight automation software supplied by Leonardo in the second half of 2017. Initial trials will be conducted at the ENAV test centre in Rome to verify the most recent version. "We are on track and have completed many of the earlier stages," a company official told Jane's . "This is an integrated project involving two industry partners and two ANSPs." Operational trials are due to start within the next two years.
In the United Kingdom, the Prestwick upper area centre was the first facility to take interoperability Through European Collaboration (iTEC) software into full operation in June 2016, when Indra completed delivery of Version 1. Indra is under contract to supply flight data processing software to NATS (UK), DFS (Germany), and Enaire (Spain). Other ANSPs have joined the iTEC Alliance from Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland.
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