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The iTEC (interoperability Through European Collaboration) Alliance, built up by seven European Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) plus the industry partner Indra, have expanded their collaboration with a new agreement to jointly develop two additional critical components that will be integrated into their next generation air traffic management systems.
The collaboration already sees the ANSPs of Germany, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania and Norway working together to develop an advanced Air Traffic Management System, including the 4D-trajectory flight data processing and the controller working position (CWP), that will save costs and help deliver the objectives of the Single European Sky Programme.
With this extension iTEC members have agreed to expand the scope of the collaboration in two important components.
First of them is the iTEC Adaptation Platform (iTAP), a powerful tool that allows the navigation service provider to define their airspace structure on the system and to configure other key parameters related to their air operations.
The system will comply with ISO 19115 for storing Geographic Information/Metadata and provide tools to ensure integrity of the airspace design and 3D visualization that simplifies the airspace definition tasks.
The second component is the iTEC test tool (External System Services - ESS), a test facility that will operate with the iTEC system as a human would do, but in an automatic manner, boosting the efficiency of the system testing.
The iTEC Collaboration Agreement was signed in 2007, when the air navigation service providers DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain) and NATS (United Kingdom), with Indra as their technology partner, joined forces to develop a new, advanced Flight Data Processing System designed to deliver cost savings and enable easier sharing of information across borders. The Alliance was later enlarged when LVNL (The Netherlands), AVINOR (Norway), Oro Navigacija (Lithuania) and PANSA (Poland) joined.
Twenty control centres will use iTEC technology to manage their air traffic in some of the world's most complex and congested airspaces.
The system has already been successfully deployed at two major Area Control Centres: in 2016 it entered into operation in NATS Prestwick Centre, which manages one of the largest airspaces in Europe covering more than 2.2 million km2; and in 2017 iTEC Centre Automation System (iCAS) was deployed at the DFS upper area control centre (UAC) of Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe UAC has controlled traffic in the upper airspace of Germany since 1977.
Annually, about 1.8 million flights cross this airspace above Germany. When the deployment at 18 further European ATM Operations Centres is completed in the coming years, iTEC will manage over seven million flights per year.
The iTEC system will support the service that all Member ANSPs provide to airlines and passengers, allowing them to deploy the technologies developed by iTEC under the European SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Programme, and to achieve its main objectives: increasing capacity, deploying the European Interoperability (IOP), offering more direct routes, reducing fuel consumption and improving safety and punctuality, thereby helping to boost the efficiency of air transport within Europe.