has entered the second phase of a trial involving medium-term conflict
detection after commencing tests at the Rome area control centre in
co-operation with Italian airspace authority ENAV.
conflict detection is seen not only as a safety aid, giving air traffic
controllers a more extensive predictive capability regarding possible hazards,
but also as a valuable planning tool for increasing airspace efficiency.
a system would increase the look-ahead capability from the few minutes
currently available from short-term conflict detection tools, to around 20mins.
of the system are being conducted on the Milan East and Milan West sectors
above FL295. Tactical and planning controllers use an experimental
pre-operational validation platform to monitor the information provided by the
medium-term conflict detection system and analyse the data in relation to the
radio communications being made by regular controllers.
system notifies controllers if aircraft deviate from their flight-plan
clearances or if conflict information is updated – and reminds them of actions
that should be performed, reducing routine workload,” says Eurocontrol.
certain controlled circumstances the trials team will also assume temporary
control of the sectors. The resulting experiences and subsequent analysis could
potentially lead to recommendations from the trial team being passed on to the
regular controllers at the centre.
trials project manager Chris Brain says that the tests are a “first step” to
proving that extended conflict detection is “operationally acceptable” as a
is the second centre to conduct trials of the system. Malmo hosted a similar
trial at the end of last year and in winter this year further tests will be
carried out at Eurocontrol’s Maastricht upper area centre.