Three simulations with Türkiye's DHMI take place at our EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub

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In the first half of 2024, the Turkish air navigation service provider DHMI and our EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub (EIH) collaborated on three significant real-time simulation projects.

These exercises took place at the EIH’s unique simulation facilities located near Paris and aimed at validating:

  • the triple-runway operations at iGA Istanbul Airport;
  • the redesigned Antalya terminal manoeuvring area (TMA) with independent parallel runway operations; and
  • the new Antalya airport layout including new aprons, parking positions and taxiways.

Simulation of triple runway operations at iGA Istanbul Airport

In January and March 2024, DHMI controllers joined EIH to simulate triple-runway operations at iGA Istanbul Airport, testing new procedures for simultaneous and independent landing and take-off on three runways, paving the way for efficient use of all five runways.

The simulation saw EUROCONTROL experts from EIH and our Network Management Safety Unit work closely with DHMI teams for four weeks using our ESCAPE ATC simulator, with Turkish Airlines pilots operating our A320 cockpit simulator. This allowed us to introduce more than 80 air traffic controller and several pilots to the new procedures and collect invaluable feedback in support of the Operational Safety Assessment study.

One of the specificities of the simulation was to test non-nominal cases that could occur in triple runway operations. A new “scenario manager” position was introduced to disrupt regular traffic flow by creating deviations to aircraft trajectories (climb or descend, turn, increase or decrease speed, adjust rate of descent, conduct missed approaches, etc.), measure the reactions of air traffic controllers and pilots, and assess and possibly improve the related procedures.

The simulation project took several months to prepare and execute, and we are now working on the final report.

Watch the video to see how it all went.

Simulation of the redesigned Antalya TMA

After several months of preparation, including defining the validation plan, objectives and scenarios, as well as adapting the simulation platform, the Antalya TMA real-time simulation project, performed by DHMI and EIH experts, took place over six weeks from March to May 2024.

The goal was to validate the redesigned terminal manoeuvring area (TMA) with independent parallel runway operations for both nominal and non-nominal cases.

As part of the Antalya Airport expansion project, the number of ground parking positions has increased by approximately 85%, which means significant changes need to be made in airspace organisation.

We simulated the implementation of a new set of closed RNAV STARs (Standard Arrival Routes) and SIDs (Standard Instrument Departures) designed by DHMI. This new design will enable parallel independent arrivals instead of the staggered arrivals currently in place.

Altogether, we aim to increase runway throughput and airport capacity from 30 arrivals per hour on both runways today to 40 arrivals per hour in the future.

Watch the video for more information.

Antalya Tower real-time simulation exercise

In parallel, another simulation - Antalya Tower - was taking place at EIH to address the same operational changes as the Antalya TMA simulation, but with a focus on assessing the impact of the new airport layout on ground ATC operations, familiarising air traffic controllers with new procedures and defining new solutions addressing potential future traffic increases.

The new airport layout is part of the airport expansion project that started in 2022, and it includes new aprons, parking positions and taxiways and, for the first time in Antalya airport's history, the implementation of multiple centrelines.

The simulation also provided an opportunity for Antalya Tower controllers to work with an advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) which has significantly advanced functionalities compared to the current system. This enabled them to evaluate the future way of working, which should help them handle the increasing operational workload.

The simulation preparation lasted for six months, while the exercise phase lasted for six weeks. This will now be followed by the results analysis phase and the production of a detailed report.

Meanwhile, watch the video for the simulation highlights.

At our EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub, these kinds of projects are carried out by a multidisciplinary team of validation, operational and technical experts. The three simulations comprise three distinct projects, each with different objectives, dedicated teams and unique challenges.

Learn more about EIH’s simulations capabilities

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