August’s top stories: NextGen’s development in the US moves forward

1 September 2013 (Last Updated September 1st, 2013 19:30)

The US FAA deployed a time-based flow management (TBFM) system at 20 en route centres to optimise aircraft flow, Harris secured approval from the agency to start work on the NextGen data communications programme and Nasa delivered a new NextGen software tool to the FAA, to help air traffic controllers speed up aircraft departure. Airport-technology wraps up key headlines from August 2013.

August’s top stories: NextGen’s development in the US moves forward

Airport stories

Kenya's Nairobi Airport resumes flight operations after massive fire

Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi has partially commenced flight operations, after a massive fire destroyed parts of the major air-transport hub on Wednesday.

The fire started at around 5am local time and spread to the airport's international arrivals and immigration area, during the peak season for tourism in Kenya.

The fire was contained and no casualties have been reported. However, the cause of fire is yet to be identified.

With reports of several passengers being left stranded, the airport has started cargo and domestic services, with several flights being diverted to other regional hubs.

Technical glitch leads to major delays at several airports

Delays have been reported at airports around the globe due to a computer glitch on a Sabre airline check-in service, which caused a major backlog.

Airlines including American, Jet Blue, Frontier, Virgin America, Qantas, British Airways and Virgin Australia were affected by problems with the Sabre booking and check-in system, which is now back online.

Southlake-based Sabre Holdings spokeswoman Nancy St. Pierre was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying that the reason for the failure is not known.

US FAA set to optimise aircraft flow with time-based metering tool

US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has deployed a new time-based flow management (TBFM) system at 20 en route centres, as part of its efforts to optimise aircraft flow in the nation's crowded airspace.

The new Lockheed Martin-built time-based metering system will replace the existing traffic management advisor (TMA).

TMA will metre aircraft during all phases of flight to calculate the exact number of aircraft entering into airspace sectors and also down to the runway at the precise rate, to find out how manay aircraft can be accommodated in a specific place at a specific time.

Harris to start work on FAA NextGen data communications programme

Harris has received approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to commence work on the agency's seven-year, $150m Data Communications Network Services (DCNS) element of the Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) programme.

Work on the project is being carried out as part of the $331m DCIS contract won by Harris in September 2012, to assist the FAA in integrating its end-to-end data communications system.

DCNS will assist to transition the US air traffic control (ATC) from analogue voice communications to digital data connectivity, which would boost the efficiency and safety of the country's ATC system.

Nasa delivers NextGen departure streaming tool to FAA

Nasa has delivered a new NextGen software tool

Nasa has delivered a new NextGen software tool to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to help air traffic controllers (ATC) speed up aircraft departure.

Developed by aeronautical researchers at Nasa, the Precision Departure Release Capability (PDRC) is designed to help ATCs improve overall air traffic management (ATM) efficiency by reducing missed or delayed departures, while increasing aircraft departures within a specified timeframe.

According to tests conducted by Nasa since 2011, the new software would help fill around 80% of slots in the constant overhead stream of air traffic that typically remains vacant due to timing issues.

Saab Sensis-led team selected for NextGen flight critical systems research

A team led by Saab Sensis has received a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) to offer flight critical systems research (FCSR) and associated services to national civil aeronautics laboratory, the Langley Research Center.

The research will address the gaps in aviation systems technology created from the operational challenges of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

As part of the deal, Saab Sensis, together with Metron Aviation, AeroControl, Calspan and Cognitive Systems Engineering, will carry out fundamental and applied research, technology development and systems analysis in airborne and ground-based systems that play a vital role in flight safety, air traffic management and control.

Xsight Systems introduces technology to reduce runway bird strikes

Xsight Systems has added a new feature, BirdWize

Xsight Systems has added a new feature, BirdWize, to its automatic Foreign Object Debris detection solution (FODetect) to help airports effectively track and reduce ground-level avian-related threats.

The improved FODetect is capable of detecting birds in real time, in severe weather and in all light conditions.

According to reports, more than half of bird strikes occur during night time, costing the aviation industry millions of dollars.

Changi Airport's new terminal to double passenger capacity

Changi Airport Group (CAG), the operator of Changi Airport in Singapore, has revealed concept plans to build a mixed-use terminal as part of its efforts to double capacity.

Called 'Project Jewel', the new facility will be built on the car park site facing the Terminal 1 (T1).

Construction on the project is expected to begin soon, with planned completion for the mid-2020s.

Designed by a consortium of consultants led by Moshe Safdie, including Benoy and local architects RSP, the new facility will incorporate aviation and travel-related facilities, concessions and leisure attractions.

London Heathrow Airport gears up to use synthetic aviation fuel

London's Heathrow Airport

London's Heathrow Airport will be the first airport in Europe to use new gas-to-liquids (GTL) aviation fuel this summer.

Swiss-based, Dutch-owned energy and commodity trading firm Vitol has supplied GTL aviation fuel to be used by aircraft flying from London Heathrow Airport.

The GTL-blended jet fuel was delivered to the UK's Fawley terminal on 13 August.

INDMEX and OPEN collaborate for integrated incident response solution

INDMEX Aviation, a developer of airport and surveillance solutions, has collaborated with OPEN Incorporated, the creator of the SafetyPAD suite for emergency medical services (EMS), to provide an integrated airport EMS incident response system.

The integrated system will provide complete airport situational awareness, runway incursion warnings and a record management enterprise system for airport first responders.

OPEN SafetyPAD Operations director Scott Streicher said that SafetyPAD is already deployed by fire and EMS teams at some of the busiest airports globally.