New approach to air traffic management sees positive results

6 Jun 2012

The first stage of a new collaborative approach to industry-wide air traffic management in Australia has seen positive results for airlines, with an average reduction of five minutes flight time per flight on the Melbourne-Sydney city pair.

This equates to approximately 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, or taking 10,000 cars off the road.

Collaborative decision making (CDM) sees Airservices, airlines and airports sharing data to maximise use of available airspace and airport capacity, reduce fuel burn and environmental emissions, and enhance safety.

In the first stage of the program, aircraft are being held on the ground at a departure airport rather than in the air, en route, at times when the capacity of the destination airport is exceeded by demand for landing slots.

Software developed by Virginia-based Metron Aviation is behind the new approach to information sharing and air traffic management.

Airservices Executive General Manager Air Traffic Control, Jason Harfield, said Sydney and Perth airport operations were the first to join the program in mid-March. Brisbane and Melbourne airports will join the program in coming months.

“Metron Traffic Flow gives our National Operations Centre in Canberra and industry, an advanced tool for strategic planning, as well as pre-tactical and tactical management of the air traffic flow within the available airspace and runway capacity,” Mr Harfield said.

Metron Aviation President and Chief Executive Officer, David Ellison, said Airservices was proven to be a world leader in harmonising and improving the performance of air traffic management systems. “We are grateful for the opportunity to achieve this successful operational milestone and support the Airservices gate-to-gate CDM vision,” said Mr Ellison.

Metron Traffic Flow provides airlines with CDM features that enable them to manage their fleets to ensure optimum use of available capacity within and across multiple airports to achieve their business goals and improve operational efficiency.

The project is a key enabler for Airservices as it works towards its vision of ‘connecting the Australian aviation industry to deliver world class industry performance’ for airlines, airports and the travelling public.