THE USA AND JAPAN are co-operating in introducing the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) and the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) on the North Pacific. As part of the deal, the two sides have agreed to look at establishing additional air-navigation routes and opening Japanese airports to more business aircraft.

The breakthrough in modernising air-traffic management (ATM) in the region resulted from a meeting held in January in Washington between officials of the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and the US Federal Aviation Administration. The event was attended by JCAB director-general Masa-hiko Kurono and David Hinson, his US counterpart.

Both sides agreed to implement the oceanic datalink (ODL) and automatic dependent surveillance (ADS) in the Central and North Pacific regions in 1997, and continue technical exchanges involving the WAAS. FAA officials say that "...the objective is to have ADS and ODL operational by the end of 1997 in the North Pacific".

The FAA and JCAB are sponsoring a FANS working group, scheduled to meet early this year in Tokyo to set up trials for 1997 to introduce the same ATM techniques in the North Pacific which are being demonstrated in the South Pacific.

The FAA agreed to assist the JCAB to develop certification and air-traffic-control procedures to help Japan integrate helicopters into the fixed-wing environment.

The US aviation agency also offered to help improve parallel approach separation standards at Japanese airports.

Japan will launch two multi-function transport satellites (MTSATs) at the end of the decade, each with communications and meteorological functions. The aim is to also install navigation transponders on the spacecraft - giving Japan satellite-based air-navigation capabilities. A ground station will be required on Hawaii.

Source: Flight International