ATTI Roundtable Discussion: DFS, NATS and Skyguide discuss digitalisation of the future

Last Wednesday, Friedrich-Wilhelm Menge, Chief Technology Officer at DFS, discussed the technological future of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in Europe with representatives of NATS and Skyguide.

ATTI Roundtable Discussion dfs nats skyguide aerobernie
DFS, NATS and Skyguide discuss digitalisation of the future

More than 400 participants followed the virtual roundtable discussion on their screens, which was organised by the industry magazine Air Traffic Technology International and sponsored by the DFS subsidiary DFS Aviation Services.

The audience asked more than 60 questions, showing their keen interest in the event. Some of the questions were taken up by the panel of experts - answering all of them would have been beyond the scope of the event.


Prioritise investments

The current Corona crisis challenges ANSPs with prioritising technology investments needed for the future, despite low traffic numbers and revenues. In 2019, ANSPs struggled with capacity constraints, while COVID-19 reduced air traffic by more than 50 per cent in Europe last year.  

Panelists stressed that it was particularly important to create flexible solutions facing such volatility. The Chief Technology Officer at the Swiss ANSP, Skyguide, Klaus Meier, stressed the importance of an open, modular architecture.

Friedrich-Wilhelm Menge highlighted the use of cloud technologies, more standardisation and efficient data management.

"Our current systems stand side by side. However, we need a horizontal approach where we use cloud technologies on which applications are built, while the actual workstations can be easily configured based on the specific requirements of the user roles and will have few technical dependencies on the applications. If we want to act faster and more flexibly in the future, we need a decoupling of all infrastructure modules in the long term."


“A cultural change”

Participants at the forum agreed that it was imperative that the entire aviation industry engaged in increased data sharing. Andy Taylor, Chief Solutions Officer Digital Towers at the UK's air navigation service provider NATS, said: this would require a cultural change"

ATTI Roundtable Discussion

Click onthe following link to view a recording of the event: ATTI Roundtable Discussion: DFS, NATS and Skyguide discuss digitalisation of the future


Implementing modernization programs: Innovation in air traffic management


Air Traffic Technology International is proud to announce the first in a series of Virtual Roundtable events for ANSPs that will provide a forum to exchange the latest ideas and information about Air Traffic Management.

During these challenging times many ANSPs have been forced to look closely at how they allocate resources for technology investment and modernization.

This roundtable will seek to answer the question: “What does the future look like for ANSPs and what technologies will matter the most to them in the future?”

Industry leaders on this high-level roundtable will discuss the new developments and innovations ANSPs consider vital to delivering an efficient and integrated airspace as we learn to live with the Covid-19 virus.

Using real world case studies and examples, our panel of experts will describe the projects and R&D they are investing in to build a more integrated and efficient airspace to support the aviation sector’s return to growth and the latest innovations.

Attendees will learn about the latest developments in ATC systems and how IT and communications technologies are enabling a more integrated and efficient management with increased digitalization. The roundtable will discuss the steps ANSPs are taking to prepare for the large amount of unmanned aircraft to be integrated into the airspace in the future, as well the latest airspace optimization techniques, and remote towers.

Topics to be covered include

• Digitalization in ATM, including upgrades in IT & communications infrastructure such as cloud / web systems
• Airspace management efficiency improvements and regulation
• Remote towers
• Technology and methodologies to facilitate the safe and efficient integration of unmanned drones into airspace (such as UTM / U-Space program)

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