Helping national authorities understand the impact of R&D on their work

Control tower simulation running IWTP

Control tower simulation running Integrated Tower Working Position (ITWP) at the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre (EEC).

The EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre (EEC) in Brétigny welcomed on13 February a high-level delegation from the French Direction de la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (DSAC), the national authority in charge of oversight and certification in civil aviation.

Patrick Cipriani, Director of DSAC, Richard Thummel, Deputy Director, and Frédéric Médioni, Technical Director Airport and ANS, spent the day at the EEC, visiting the simulation and validation facilities. They also attended a series of presentations and demonstrations on research concepts and deployment solutions.

DSAC were keen to understand the latest thinking in European ATM R&D and the overall approach to bridging the gap between concept development, validation and deployment. In particular, they were interested to see how R&D capabilities and results can be of added value to national authorities.

Pierre Andribet, Head of EEC, emphasised the central role of EUROCONTROL in SESAR 2020, where we lead eight projects dedicated to pan-European network performance and actively participate in 24. He also highlighted the Agency’s ability to cooperate with and to support EASA at marginal costs in its regulatory activities with its expertise and experience acquired through research and deployment activities.

DSAC received a set of dedicated showcase presentations and demonstrations on core activities of the EEC. A particular emphasis was put on the Centre's solution-focused approach, covering:

  • data link testing facilities;
  • an Integrated Tower Working Position simulation;
  • European Wake Vortex Re-categorisation (RECAT-EU) and Time Based Separation (TBS);
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) R&D including the integration of small low-altitude drones and the ongoing simulation conducted in the framework of SESAR to study the integration of RPAS with IFR traffic in en-route airspace;
  • ACAS X ongoing and planned validation and standardisation activities;
  • the Safety Reference Material (SRM) approach, used by a number of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to show compliance with applicable European Regulation (Part ATS of (EU) 2017/373).

The DSAC delegation was joined by members of the network, airport and validation teams for a visit to the EEC’s simulation facilities. They allow EUROCONTROL to carry out real-time (and large-scale) simulations in support of new airspace design projects as well as network operational concepts and procedures.  

Thematic meetings will take place as a follow-up to the visit. They will allow participants to share perspectives, discuss in more detail drone-related challenges and gain better insight into the SRM and IRIS tools, which are increasingly used by ANSPs as part of their safety management system.