EC delegation visits ACC test site for new generation air traffic control system

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Delegates from the European Commission (EC) and the Innovation and Network Executive Agency (INEA) have visited the Marseille Air Traffic Control Centre (ACC) in France, one of two sites testing the new generation air traffic control (ATC) system, 4-FLIGHT.

The delegation was accompanied by representatives of SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM), and the visit was hosted by the Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne (DSNA) and the Marseille ACC.

The 4-FLIGHT programme, which is being co-financed by the European Union (EU), is designed in response to the high increase in air traffic in Europe, and features the core elements needed to modernise the French en-route air traffic management system. This new generation, stripless control system integrates the future Coflight flight data processing system, an interface (HMI) proposing innovative control tools, and the simulation environment for controller transitioning. Among expected benefits is an increase of around 10 per cent in overall capacity, as well as the enabling of DSNA to offer higher quality and more competitive services to all aircraft operators.

Currently, the first operational version of 4-FLIGHT is under preparation in the two pilot-centres – the Marseille and Reims centres. Technical and operational evaluation sessions are being carried out. The first tests with live traffic will be held in January and March 2017 and development of subsequent versions of the programme will continue afterwards.

During the visit to Marseille ACC, delegates were led through a series of presentations, discussions, and guided through the 4-FLIGHT supervisory and simulation rooms.

The visit was the last of four in 2016 aimed to recognise concrete results from a timely and successful implementation of Pilot Common Project – six essential Air Traffic Management functionalities co-financed by the EC, to facilitate comprehensive and synchronised deployment. Details of the upcoming project visits in 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks.