ICAO endorses space-based ADS-B surveillance

New space-based automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) technology should eventually serve as a truly global aircraft positioning solution, redefining how seamless, modern ATM will function and delivering important efficiency and emissions-reduction advantages, according to an ICAO chief.

“We do not yet have a global ADS-B mandate, however by 2020 a number of states and regions will be ADS-B capable and many commercial aircraft will be equipped with suitable transponders.” said ICAO Council president Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, speaking at athe recent World ATM Congress in Madrid, Spain,

He also told delegates in a keynote speech that airspace design and management is set to undergo radical change in the years ahead “as more and more aircraft enter into service which fly higher, lower, faster, and much slower than those we manage today.”

Aliu stressed the responsibility of the entire air transport community to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of skilled personnel to manage this increasingly complex technological foundation for 21st century aviation, noting that ICAO’s Global Plans for aviation safety and air navigation included helpful targets to assist planners and investors looking to optimise  flight capacity and the socio-economic benefits of today’s emerging operations.

“Today’s incredibly rapid rate of technological progress is now forcing us to acknowledge that a revolution is underway, with unmanned systems navigating residential and urban environments for a wide range of purposes at one end of the spectrum, and high-altitude balloons, RPAS, and super- or hyper-sonic aircraft jetting across the stratosphere at the other.”

Regarding current commercial operations, Dr Aliu stressed ICAO’s prioritisation of the worldwide adoption of Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) approaches, underscoring the promise which ATFM holds out for more cost-, time- and fuel-efficient operations.

“ATFM optimises the existing capacities of the air traffic management system through the more precise coordination of take-offs and landings,” he remarked. “This means aircraft don’t find themselves placed into costly holding patterns when they reach their destinations, and that while in flight they can be more quickly and accurately routed around constrained airspace and unexpected weather events.”