The Central ATFM system will help dynamically assess the airspace situation and capacity optimisation taking into consideration various constraints for efficient operations.
I t is the prerogative of Airports Authority of India (AAI) to provide hassle-free air connectivity, develop and upgrade airport infrastructure and manage the civilian airspace across the country. Entrusted under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), AAI has recently inaugurated the Central Air Traffic Flow Management – Central Command Centre (C-ATFM) at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.
India has already made a mark in global air traffic harmonisation, by implementing the centralised Air Traffic Flow Management sytem. The implementation of the C- ATFM Flow Management System has placed India seventh in number after the United States, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Brazil. Inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister of State (I/c) for Civil Aviation, Shri. Hardeep Singh Puri, the event also witnessed the presence of Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI; Board Members and senior AAI officials.
NEED OF C-ATFM
Air traffic in India continues to grow rapidly and this trend is likely to continue to expand in the future. Most airports in India are facing a massive infra crunch with terminals handling much more passengers than their capacity. The introduction of C-ATFM system is expected to cut down on flight delays by synchronising aircraft movement with real time conditions.
Traffic is expected to increase at many of the existing airports and the increased traffic demands a corresponding effort to utilise system capacity efficiently. This will require Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) capabilities for effective Demand and Capacity Balancing (DCB). The ATFM tools enable improved management of demand and capacity, and help the system stakeholders deal with increased complexity of the nation’s air routes.
TARGETING OPTIMUM UTILIsATION
The C-ATFM system is primarily meant to address the balancing of capacity against the demand to achieve optimum utilisation of the major resources viz., airport, airspace and aircraft at every Indian airport where there is a capacity constraint. Demand and capacity management aims to maximise the ATM system capacity whilst minimising the effects of the constraints. This will help achieve system-wide traffic optimisation through the application of demand and capacity balancing and traffic synchronisation.
A significant function of C-ATFM system is to integrate flight data from various subsystems like Air Traffic Control (ATC) Automation System, flight updates and flight update messages. The system also demonstrates weather information along with static information about airports, airspaces and air routes. The system processes the demand and capacity information and provides decision-making tools to the ATFM flow manager for collaborative decision making ensuring regulated flow of traffic at each airport in India.
THE C-ATFM NETWORK
The C-ATFM system is supported by 36 Flow Management Positions (FMPs) at various airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Eight Defence airports are also part of the ATFM network, provided with FMPs.
The commissioning of the Central Command Centre system of the C-ATFM Complex is a humble beginning, putting the Indian airspace in safer hands. India is on a high growth trajectory and introduction of such technological capabilities is imperative to keep pace with this growth.