Back in April 2014 we announced that our GO Publisher software was being used to enable the cross border exchange of AIM data between adjacent control centres as part of the cross border arrivals management trial – or XMAN project – led by NATS. Nine months on and we are pleased to reveal some of the first results of the project.
Reaping the Benefits
The key objectives of the trial were to reduce holding times over Heathrow by a quarter from the current time of eight minutes, make significant fuel savings, reduce CO2 emissions, and increase safety to provide overall benefits to airlines, ground staff, and passengers through the slowing down of aircraft earlier during the en-route phase of flight.
Since April, NATS has recorded a reduction of up to a minute in holding times for those flights influenced by the trial, saving airlines around £1 million (€1.25m) in fuel and 5,000 tonnes of CO2, as well as reducing noise for communities underneath the stacks. As a result, in September, the minimum stack delay threshold was reduced from nine minutes to seven.
“Although early in the lifecycle of such a significant groundbreaking trail, the benefits shown here from the XMAN project are very impressive. As a project led by NATS and in close cooperation with French air traffic control provider, DSNA, the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre, Prestwick Control Centre, the Shannon Control Centre and Irish Aviation Authority, the Brest Air Traffic Control Centre , and in technical collaboration with Barco and the team here at Snowflake this is truly an example of the industry coming together, working together, to improve not only the economical impact of flight but also the environmental impact.” commented Alexis Brooker, Director of Professional Services at Snowflake.
“We look forward to the system becoming fully operational in the future.”
The XMAN project came highly commended at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s innovation awards 2014 in the Intelligent Systems category and the in initial prototype concept won the SESAR SWIM MasterClass 2013.