NTT DATA Corporation to Begin Providing “airpalette ATFM,” the Third Product of the “airpalette®” Brand of Air Traffic Control Products
NTT DATA Corporation (hereinafter NTT DATA) will commence provision of its third product in the airpalette® brand*1, the “airpalette ATFM (Air Traffic Flow Management system)”, on February 5, 2016.
airpalette ATFM is the first software package by a domestic company that enables air traffic control organizations to construct ATFM systems. An ATFM system is a system that predicts air traffic volume using flight plans*2 provided by airline companies and meteorological data, and, by proposing departure time adjustments etc. when congestion is predicted, standardizes air traffic volume, leading to the realization of a safe and smooth traffic flow.
By introducing this product, air traffic controllers in the air control organizations of each country can, based on the latest traffic volume prediction data, control departure times through each control center. In doing so, in addition to a reduction in fuel consumed by aircraft waiting to land and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we can expect standardization in the workload for air traffic controllers by eliminating the pressure caused by the concentration of aircraft.
NTT DATA plans to sell this product in the future with a focus on Asian countries where an increase in air traffic volume is forecast.
According to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), air transport traffic volume will continue to increase in each region of the world until the year 2025. Especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where rapid economic growth is taking place, a large average increase of 5.8% annually is predicted, fueling concerns of congestion of aircraft taking off and landing at each airport and in the surrounding airspace. With this background, centered on Asia, we can foresee an increase in demand for an advanced air control system, including ATFM, in order to control traffic volume over the whole airspace, and expand the processing capacity of the airports and airspace.
On the other hand, NTT DATA, up until now, has been involved in various air traffic control system development products at the Civil Aviation Bureau, contributing to the expansion of processing capacity associated with the increase in domestic air traffic volume. Regarding domestic ATFM systems, we were also involved in construction of the ATFMC (Air Traffic Flow Management Center) in 1994, and ATMC (Air Traffic Management Center) in 2005. Furthermore, in recent years we have proceeded with international business activities in the air traffic control field. We began providing the flight schematic design system “PANADES®”*3 in 2010, and in January 2015 started the “airpalette” brand, unifying NTT DATA’s product lineup in the air traffic control field.
On this occasion, NTT DATA will start provision of “airpalette ATFM”, the third product in our airpalette brand in order to utilize the knowledge gained from being involved in providing ATFM systems domestically and ease congestion in international airspace.
Airpalette ATFM is a software package for air traffic control organizations that predicts traffic volume in every area with high precision, and proposes ideal departure times in order to relieve congestion. With this product, air traffic organizations can check the latest traffic volume prediction data reflecting congestion and poor weather on their terminals, and use it to make decisions on requesting flight departure changes through each control center at airports etc., making creation of optimum traffic flow covering all airspace easier.
Figure1. Image of information communication flow through the introduction of ATFM system
Functions and features
Traffic volume understanding
This product predicts traffic volume per time period for each area based on flight plans provided by airline companies and meteorological data provided by organizations dealing with meteorological information. It can also display detailed data of calculated flight paths such as takeoff and landing times for each aircraft and anticipated transit time through each point programmed in the flight path. When flight plans cannot be obtained from airline companies, the lack of flight plans can be covered by using the OAG (Official Airline Guide), a timetable of regular flights worldwide.
Ideal departure time proposal
When congestion in air traffic volume is predicted, this product proposes ideal departure times for aircraft in order to relieve congestion. Enhanced functions, such as proposing ideal transit times for each point on the flight path, are also planned for the future.
Ability to verify various control patterns
This product has prepared abundant variations of control systems in order to conduct traffic flow control of aircraft departure times. Air traffic controllers can implement control by inspecting implantation results of multiple control patterns.
Compatible with various conditions in each country
This product contains cutting-edge algorithms and can flexibly handle various air traffic flow conditions in each country in cases such as aircraft congestion in the vicinity of specific large scale airports, aircraft congestion around the country in question, and overflight in the country’s airspace.
Internationally compatible product specifications
This product is also compatible with the materialization of international ATFM which conducts traffic flow control between neighboring countries. International ATFM is a structure that conducts exchanges of various information between countries with neighboring airspace, and, by adjusting departure times and making adjustments to times of entry into and departure from controlled airspace etc., realizes optimum traffic flow in the airspace straddling both countries. This product has been designed with international ATFM in mind, and by sharing necessary data, a speedy set up of international ATFM becomes possible. Furthermore, when neighboring countries use this product, mutual cooperation makes it possible to display the neighboring country’s airspace on the screen, so optimum traffic flow can be realized between both countries.
Figure2. Example of traffic flow control at airports
Merits of introducing airpalette ATFM
By introducing airpalette ATFM, air traffic control organizations in each country can expect the following results.
- Efficient navigation of aircraft and improvement in air transport safety
- Reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by aircraft waiting to land
- Standardization of air traffic controller workload by relieving traffic congestion
Figure3. Effects of introducing airpalette ATFM
About the future
NTT DATA plans to provide this product with a focus on Asia in the future.
- *1airpalette is a brand unifying the product lineup in NTT DATA’s air traffic control field. The first product, eTOD (electric Terrain & Obstacle Data) Solutions, the only service providing terrain and obstacle data using the world’s highest resolution, was released in January 2015, and the second product, flight path RDP (Radar Data Processing system), in April 2015.
- *2Flight plans are plans relating to aircraft flight schedules that airline companies are required to provide to air traffic control organizations. Flight plans include aircraft identification number, planned time of departure, departure location, flight path, destination, and planned flight time etc.
- *3As of February 5, 2015, PANADES has been introduced in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
- *4OAG is a timetable of regular flights worldwide provided by OAG Aviation Worldwide Ltd., which deals with timetables etc. for the travel and transport industries based on airline company and airport data from around the world.
- *“airpalette” is a registered trademark of NTT DATA Corporation in Japan and CTM (Europe). Trademark applications have also been made in the USA and China.
- *“PANADES” is a registered trademark of NTT DATA Corporation in Japan, CTM (Europe), Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. Trademark applications have also been made in Indonesia and Laos.