QinetiQ's Air Traffic Management (ATM) team, in collaboration with Boeing Research and Technology Europe (BR&TE), has won a study contract worth 170,000 Euros (£115,000) from the EUROCONTROL Agency in Brussels. QinetiQ and BR&TE will review existing and planned aircraft arrival management tools for air traffic controllers in order to develop enhanced concepts for increasing capacity at European airports.
QinetiQ will lead a team of experts which will provide advice on aircraft performance and flight management systems. The study forms a key step in EUROCONTROL's TMA2010 cross domain activity, an initiative set up to ensure increased capacity at airports to meet the predicted doubling of traffic demand over the next decade.
QinetiQ bid and project manager Andy Taylor, a senior operational consultant in the ATM Group, said: "Winning this important study shows that QinetiQ and BR&TE are at the heart of European ATM, and can provide unique solutions to ATM challenges by combining their complementary skills."
The project leader at BR&TE, Dr. Miguel Vilaplana, brings to the project Boeing's expertise in aircraft performance and trajectory prediction. Dr Vilaplana said: "Trajectory prediction is a core technology for the development of operational decision-support tools, which will enable the evolution of the ATM system. The team formed by QinetiQ and BR&TE brings together a breadth and depth of experience and knowledge that are key to the success of this project."
In February 2004 Boeing and QinetiQ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore potential collaboration on the development of a variety of technologies, including air traffic management, aviation security, acoustics and lightweight materials.
The EUROCONTROL contract is timely because QinetiQ has just been accepted onto the US Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) Programme which will look at the development of the US air transport system over the coming years, and which aims to triple air transport capacity by 2020. QinetiQ is the only non-US based organisation to be represented on this new programme
EUROCONTROL is the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation. This civil and military organisation, which currently numbers 35 member states, has as its primary objective the development of a seamless, pan-European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.