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ANACNA Monograph on Emergency Management at the time of COVID-19

This year 2021, still undermined by the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must reflect on what has been, what is, what will be. For this reason, ANACNA wishes to realize a multi-authorial monograph, the management of the emergency at the time of COVID-19, with the participation of those who, in the aeronautical world, acted as barrier to the spread of virus and are a bridge to the new social and operational structure.

Read more about the ANACNA initiative – the foundation of the project, its framework, rationale and schedule, by downloading the brochure here.

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IFATCA Position on Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems

Note: this position must be considered as provisional policy until has been approved by IFATCA's Member Associations

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), their market and their operations, are the future for airborne mobility and logistics and will have a significant impact on aviation. To facilitate safe access to airspace for the increasing numbers of unmanned aircraft (UA), a dedicated UAS traffic management (UTM) system has been proposed and is currently being developed.

The purpose of a UTM is to safely manage UAS operations both in controlled and uncontrolled airspace using a high degree of automation. Information will automatically be collected from and distributed to all affected stakeholders leaving the UAS operator to be responsible for managing its operations safely without direct interaction with Air Traffic Management (ATM).

In the short to medium term, the development of UTM will focus on Very Low-Level Airspace (typically 500ft and below) to accommodate Urban Air Mobility (UAM), parcel delivery, industrial applications, etc. Even though UTM is still a general concept with no altitude restrictions, this initial development is focused on low-level airspace with the potential to leverage off knowledge gained to apply to Very High-Level Operations like stratospheric balloons or hypersonic vehicles into the future (ETM: Upper-E Traffic Management).

Due to different technologies and capabilities, specific operational requirements and limitations, and different regulatory requirements, UTM is considered a separate, but potentially complementary, system to the ANSP-supplied ATM. In fact, all the fundamental characteristics of an ATM system (Air Traffic Services, Air Space Management, Air Traffic Flow Management TFM) can also be found, with the necessary peculiarities, in UTM.

It is anticipated that in the future the two systems will converge into one traffic management system providing a seamless service to all airspace users with manned airspace users maintaining existing operational capacity and safety standards.

In order to promote safe, efficient and consistent regulation, and to assist and advise in the development of safe and orderly systems of Air Traffic Control, IFATCA would like to provide the following observations with a view to contributing to ongoing development of UTM.

CONCLUSION

It is important that a UTM is coordinated and developed with the ultimate goal on integration to the current ATM system. This requires discussion, standardisation and a UTM safety risk assessment model.

The fundamental aspect remains the adoption of an adequate regulatory framework that allows safe interactions between ATM and UTM. The required level of automation shall be carefully evaluated for a clear and unambiguous allocation of responsibilities.

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Volcanic Ash Refresher

As this is the year 2020, you might as well be as prepared for any more eventualities that may come your way. Ten years ago, in 2010, air travel over large parts of Europe was halted because of a volcanic eruption in Iceland. While the impact of this was massive, every year, there are several volcanic eruptions which cause disruptions of some sort to air traffic. Hence, IFATCA has compiled some useful information to remind controllers of what impact it may have in their day-to-day work.

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Coronavirus Guidance

The world is once again facing a global crisis that is not sparing the aviation industry. This crisis will impact each and every one of us in a number of ways. It is inevitable that every Member Association will be asked to contribute to the effort of their ANSP to manage the crisis.

IFATCA has developed Guidance Material to help its Member Associations respond to the COVID-19 crisis surrounding the responses of their employers and the aviation industry in general. This Guidance Material aims to support the IFATCA Member Associations to assist where possible their employers (Governments, National Agencies, Air Navigation Services Providers).

As an additional resource, a discussion forum is available via Google Groups – the content can be seen without an account but if you would like to participate in the discussion you will need to register.

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IFATCA EU 373/2017 Regulation Workshop

On the initiative of our Lithuanian and Latvian air traffic controllers’ associations, IFATCA held a workshop on the implementation of EU regulation 373/2017 at Oro Navigacija in Vilnius, Lithuania from the 6-7th of January.

The workshop was a mix of presentations and group work with participants from Poland, Rumania, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Lithuania and Eurocontrol. Fatigue, rostering, stress, CISM and the testing of psychoactive substance were among the topics discussed.

For more details on the regulation and its impact, IFATCA published a checklist for Member Associations to verify their ANSP/Country’s compliance with European Regulation 2017/373 on stress, fatigue and psychoactive substances. While obviously most relevant to European associations, it may be of use to others to crosscheck how they are doing in respect to this regulation.

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Low Level Drone Guidance

The number of drone sightings by pilots and ATCOs and related airprox reports continues to rise. There have been numerous cases of airspace and aerodrome closures due to drones in the vicinity. Many countries do not yet have standard procedures to deal with drone sightings near aerodromes or violations of controlled airspace. IFATCA has released a guidance document on very-low-level drone operations near controlled airports.

The objective of this discussion and guidance material is to promote and uphold a high standard of knowledge and professional efficiency among Air Traffic Controllers. This document is for: distribution to IFATCA Member Associations and ATCOs; as guidance for IFATCAs’ representatives; and for public dissemination. The guidance material focusses on drones operating very-low-level (e.g. not above 400 ft AGL) near controlled airports, generally within controlled airspace, and either VLOS💬 or BVLOS💬.

The guidance material complements the IFALPA/IFATCA Drone Sighting Guidelines published 29 August 2018. It also aligns with IFATCA’s policy statements on the operational use of un-crewed aircraft.

Remote Towers: an overview

The concept of remote operations remains the subject of debates, working groups, studies and, above all, professional reality. While issues related to Remote Air Traffic Services are still under discussion, and without specific global guidelines to regulate standards available, the industry is moving forward with testing multiple tower solutions.

IFATCA has compiled a quick reference to assist Member Associations that are confronted with implementation scenarios in their country. It includes a list of topics that they can expect to come up in discussions.

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