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Integrated Surface Management
Deadline: Mar 16, 2016  

 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Current airport infrastructures and services provided to Airport Stakeholders need to be optimised further to support the expected increase in traffic and potential integration of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) preventing a negative impact on the performance of the overall Air Traffic Management (ATM) network. With increases in traffic, airports and airlines need to enhance their abilities to deliver, plan and improve the use of airport resource allocation so that costs, emissions and fuel use can be reduced, whilst improving passenger satisfaction. Further integration of Air Traffic Control (ATC) tools through Surface Management with other systems could enable this. The process is not end to end, and the delivery from Stand to Runway or Runway to Stand could be further optimised through enhanced and integrated Surface management. Arrival and departure planning systems need to fully take advantage of advanced surface management functions or providing optimisations, so the controller is required to manage these separate processes with less ability to react to unknown variances which result in non-optimal delivery. Low visibility conditions impact negatively vehicle drivers as well with consequence of reducing their situational awareness in the aerodrome overall picture. In this context the use of Enhanced Vision System (EVS) and Synthetic Vision System (SVS) is an opportunity, but appropriate ATC procedures are required in order to make ATCOs, pilots and vehicle drivers able to manage safely operations using these technologies.


The project “Integrated Surface Management” aims at delivering the following SESAR Solutions:

  • Enhanced Guidance Assistance to Aircraft and Vehicles on the Airport Surface Combined with Routing: The procedures for the surface traffic management need to be validated with the new systems. Exchange of virtual stop bar identifier and status between ATCOs and flight crews to improve safety in low visibility conditions. The exchange of information between ATC and vehicles/aircrafts will be improved with the use of airport data link and other guidance means.

  • Enhanced navigation and accuracy in low visibility conditions (LVC) on the airport surface: definition and evaluation of advanced aircraft automated systems (integration with future ATC surveillance systems is also expected for surface operations). Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) augmented system can be used to improve the accuracy of aircraft navigation (position, speed and time) in both surface movement and take-off/landing operations. Inside the GNSS augmented system, a secure Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) solution, through the integration of “safety-of-life” / Public Regulated Service (PRS) receivers in the GBAS Ground Station in order to improve the accuracy of aircraft (a/c) navigation.

  • Enhanced Visual Operations: Enhanced Vision System (EVS) and Synthetic Vision System (SVS) will be developed to enable more efficient taxi, take-off and landing operations in low visibility conditions. This is applicable to all platforms and, even if main airline platforms have auto-land capabilities to facilitate approaches in low visibility conditions, they have no capabilities to facilitate taxi and take-off in order to maintain airport capacity. For Business Aviation, to maximize the benefits offered by System Based Augmentation System with Vertical Guidance SBAS/LPV, EVS and SVS (either head up or head down) to allow access to small airports in close to CAT II, CAT III visibility conditions. Work will address taxi, take-off and landing operations.

Surface operations by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS): As RPAS enter service their ability to operate on an airport surface alongside manned platforms will become increasingly important. The project will examine the particular requirements of remotely piloted operations, and describe the differences from manned operations, providing operational requirements for technological developments that could mitigate those differences.

Expected Impact:

This project will develop solutions that are expected to have a positive impact on the Network improving:

  • Improving flight efficiency in particular under low visibility procedures;

  • Reduction of fuel emissions per flight by reducing overall arrival, surface and departure delay;

  • Reduction of pilot workload in case of low visibilities conditions;

  • Improvement in both pilots’ and controllers’ situational awareness.

  • Increasing of the aircraft safety on the airport surface, the better situational awareness provided by vision systems in low visibility conditions will reduce the probability of occurrence of hazardous situations.

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