DSNA, France’s ANSP, has joined a consortium of European ANSPs supporting the modernisation of air traffic management (ATM) over Europe through the Iris programme.
In partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), Inmarsat is leading the Iris programme to deliver significant benefits to airlines and ANSPs across Europe by enabling secure, high-bandwidth, satellite-based datalink communications. ANSPs will be able to rely on Iris’ certified datalink to increase ATM efficiency, relieve air traffic controller workload and enhance flight safety. Iris is also designed to enable ‘4D’ trajectories, pinpointing an aircraft in four dimensions: latitude, longitude, altitude, and time, which is one of the major concepts defined in the SESAR programme. This will enable precise tracking of flights and more efficient management of traffic by allowing pilots and controllers to collaborate on flight trajectories and calculate the shortest available routes, cruise at optimum altitudes, and use continuous climb and descent pathways to reduce delays, save fuel and address environmental factors.
DSNA joins five major European ANSPs already involved with implementing Iris including DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain), ENAV (Italy), EUROCONTROL MUAC (North-West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg & the Netherlands), and NATS (UK). These ANSPs, which together handle the majority of European air traffic, are participating in an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) pilot with Inmarsat and ESA. As part of its involvement in the Iris programme, DSNA will capture performance data from pilot flight demonstrations, which is critical as they operate in one of Europe’s the largest and busiest sections of airspace. In addition, their participation better prepares DSNA for the programme’s continued rollout and commercial service introduction.
Iris is powered by Inmarsat’s SB-S digital aircraft operations platform, using its L-band satellite constellation, which has underpinned global safety services for 40 years. Inmarsat is scheduled to launch two new, advanced L-band payloads to join its award-winning fleet in 2020 and 2021, further cementing the company’s long-term commitment to the highly reliable services it offers over this spectrum.