Airbus is doing all it can to reduce the environmental footprint made by the international aviation industry.
Its efforts hinge mainly on research and development of the 4D (i4D) concept that is key to the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project, and which aims to make airspace more connected and the skies more efficient.
A major target of SESAR is to reduce fuel burn – and therefore the aviation industry’s footprint – by optimizing traffic sequencing, improving management of arrivals and departures, and increasing airspace capacity in general. This, in turn, will also enhance safety factors.
How the i4D Concept Can Reduce the Footprint of Aviation
Essentially, the i4D concept will enable aircraft to adapt trajectory and speed in-flight automatically so that they get to a specific position at an appropriate time. In practical terms, this will reduce or possibly even eliminate the holding time aircraft inevitably spend in the skies around airports waiting for landing slots.
This would result in “a huge revolution” in terms of management of air traffic, says Airbus ATM Engineering’s Data Link and FMS Manager, Jérôme Condis. Noting that Airbus is in a position to be able to play a significant role in SESAR, he says Airbus aims to leverage its expertise as a leading manufacturer pioneering technological breakthroughs to help improve the management of air traffic. It will also exploit its reputation as a world leader in the industry to encourage other stakeholders to reduce aviation’s environmental footprint.
Airbus Role in SESAR
Airbus has supported evaluation of the Extended Project Profile (EPP) of SESAR, which, according to Airbus ATM Engineering’s SESAR Demonstration Project Coordinator, Jean-Louis Bigot is a “key technological brick in 14D.” He describes it as the vital link between air to ground aircraft trajectory information which is achieved using an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C).
Amongst other things, Airbus piloted about 60 test flights for the preliminary evaluation of the EPP system.
The next step is to integrate this EPP trajectory information into much bigger air traffic management systems so that controllers can sequence traffic at specific “waypoints,” says Bigot.
The Way Forward for Airbus and SESAR
The second phase of SESAR was launched in 2016 and will continue until 2020 in line with airline conditions that are described in the Demonstration of ATM Improvements Generated by Initial Trajectory Sharing (DIGITS) Project. According to Bigot:
- DIGITS will continue to focus on establishing a ground infrastructure that will integrate EPP information in air traffic control operations until 2019. This will incorporate certification for the infrastructure.
- Late 2018, the Project will begin equipping commercial aircraft for real-time exchange of EPP data. By the end of 2019 it is hoped that about 100 airliners will be fitted with the new equipment.
So by 2020, the i4D concept will be a reality!
Airbus Parts and Parts Service
Of course the quality of Airbus parts and parts service remain as important as ever. If you have parts needs for your aircraft, do not hesitate to contact Prime Industries or to search our inventory online.