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EUROCONTROL, Israel and Cyprus validate airspace redesign to increase capacity and reduce delays

Flight on approach to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

EUROCONTROL and partners from Israel and Cyprus recently conducted an airspace redesign simulation to validate a proposed new structure of the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport’s inbound and outbound routes going through Cyprus’ airspace, while ensuring that there will be no negative impact on capacity over Cyprus.

The simulation resulted in improvements in traffic delivery and the implementation of a subset of the simulated configuration.

The joint exercise assured air traffic controllers from the respective States that the new route structure will have an acceptable impact on their workload at various levels of traffic as well as under airspace limitations imposed by military restrictions.

Bringing together colleagues from two air navigation service providers (ANSPs) helped to increase their mutual understanding of present issues and the ways to overcome them. Representatives from Israeli's military were present at the simulation as this route restructuring also influences their activities.

The exercises were conducted on EUROCONTROL’s ESCAPE air traffic control (ATC) simulator and covered a series of sector configurations with a revised route structure mainly for Ben Gurion in- and outbound traffic. In addition, different route options for Beirut in- and outbound traffic were tested. The simulation involved 32 controllers on measured working positions, two groups of eight controllers of Nicosia ACC and four groups of four controllers of Tel-Aviv ACC. In addition, we organised real-time simulation sessions for another six groups of eight controllers of Nicosia ACC so they can get familiar with the concept.

The aim was to help our partners assess their training needs and to provide input to the transition plan for a phased implementation of the airspace changes.

The data analysis is still in progress and will be followed by a comprehensive review of the simulation findings with the core teams of the two ANSPs.

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