The Eurocontrol-operated upper area control centre (UAC) at Maastricht, Netherlands, has ordered an advanced air traffic management (ATM) flight data processing system (FDPS) that will upgrade its capacity and enable the use of future advanced ATM tools.

The decision means that Eurocontrol joins air traffic service providers in Germany, Spain and the UK in signing FDPS contracts with the same company - Madrid, Spain-based specialist software provider Indra ATM.

Eurocontrol's decision signals the way ahead for European air traffic services providers, which will need to integrate their future FDPS with the system as the continent's ATM system progresses towards the Single European Sky goal.

Indra's FDPS meets all the specifications set by Eurocontrol's Interoperability Through European Collaboration programme (Flight International, 8-14 April), including controller-pilot datalink communications, four-dimensional trajectory prediction and medium-term conflict alert.

The system will be designed to integrate with the UAC's new operator input and display system - which became operational in November 2002 - by the time the new FDPS goes live at Maastricht in 2007, says Eurocontrol.

The contract is worth €38 million ($42 million), with options on software and equipment totalling a further €11 million. It involves delivery of data processing equipment and application software to enable the FDPS to be implemented in Eurocontrol's operational, training, and test and development air traffic control environments at Maastricht.

The UAS is not only a working ATM centre, but Eurocontrol's operational concept testing base.

Source: Flight International