Julian Moxon/PARIS

THE US FEDERAL Aviation Administration is evaluating Eurocontrol's advanced air-traffic-control (ATC) technology to help it decide on investment in automated ATC systems.

Eurocontrol is mounting a real-time simulation of its operational-display and input-development (ODID) system at its Bretigny-sur-Orge experimental centre, near Paris, to enable the FAA to compare its performance with its current Plan View Display equipment. The US agency is looking at new ATC tools for air-traffic-conflict resolution and analysis under its Display System Replacement programme.

The simulation uses the Washington DC en route centre at Leesburgh, Virginia, as the control environment, with controllers from several US en route centres participating. The demonstration centres on Eurocontrol's ODID IV system, which provides advanced features such as automatic conflict-resolution, and an advanced graphical interface, which shows radar, flight data and conflict information through windows on a large-format colour monitor. The controller "talks" to the system, using a mouse input device.

The FAA wants to upgrade 22 en route ATC centres in the USA, and may eventually use some of the ODID technologies. "They are interested in the controller-interface developments being built and evaluated in Europe," says ODID IV project leader Robert Graham.

The ODID IV programme forms part of Eurocontrol's efforts to harmonise ATC hardware and software throughout Europe. Despite industry concerns about the complexity and cost of ODID-type systems, several European administrations are incorporating the system into new, or upgraded, ATC centres. Sweden's new centre, will be around 80% ODID-based, as will a new centre in Denmark.

Source: Flight International