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Baltic FAB ANSPs ORO NAVIGACIJA and PANSA, together with their iTEC Alliance partners are expanding collaboration. In June 2018 seven European Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSPs), plus industry partner Indra, have with a new agreement to jointly develop two additional critical components that will be integrated into their next generation air traffic management systems.

The collaboration already sees the seven ANSPs of Germany, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania and Norway working together to develop a common flight data processing system and controller working position (CWP) that will save costs and help deliver the objectives of the European Commission’s Single European Sky initiative. However, iTEC members have now agreed to expand the scope of the collaboration to cover the joint development of an adaptation platform that will help define and maintain the specific airspace structures of different ANSPs and a tool that will perform automatic testing on the system.

Twenty control centres already use or will use iTEC technology to manage their air traffic in some of the world's most complex and congested airspaces. The system has already been successfully deployed at two major Area Control Centres: in 2016, in NATS Prestwick Centre, which manages one of the largest areas of airspaces in Europe covering more than 2.2 million km2; and, in 2017, iCAS (iTEC Centre Automation System) at the DFS upper area control centre (UAC) in Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe UAC has controlled traffic in the upper airspace of Germany since 1977. Annually, about 1.8 million flights cross this airspace above Germany. It will be deployed at 18 further European ATM Operations Centres, including Vilnius and Warsaw, in the coming years.

Recently the iTEC partners and the European Agency Eurocontrol, through its Upper Area Control Centre in Maastricht (MUAC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop the SESAR Flight Object IOP (Interoperability) components that will enable the sharing of four-dimensional (i.e predictive) flight trajectories between iTEC members and with the Network Manager.

And now, with the present additional extension, iTEC partners will jointly develop an iTEC Adaptation Platform (iTAP), a powerful and intuitive graphical tool that will help define and maintain the specific airspace structures required by each Member, and to configure other parameters related to air operations like areas of military use or system configuratins related to data interchange o controller pilot data link. The iTAP complies with ISO 19115 for storing Geographic Information/Metadata and provides tools to ensure the integrity of the airspace design, as well as offering 3D visualization capabilities that simplify airspace definition tasks.

In addition, the iTEC partners will also jointly develop a tool (External System Services, ESS) to perform automatic testing over the system, boosting the efficiency of the testing process and ensuring a regular flow of information to support effective maintenance of the system, ensuring optimal performance for its multiple users and their airspace users.

The system will support the service all Member ANSPs provide to airlines and passengers, allowing them to meet the objectives of the European SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme: increasing capacity, offering more direct routes, reducing fuel consumption and improving safety and punctuality, thereby helping to boost the efficiency of air transport within Europe.

The iTEC Collaboration Agreement was signed in 2007, when the air navigation service providers DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain) and NATS (United Kingdom), with Indra as their technology partner, joined forces to develop a new, advanced Flight Data Processing System designed to deliver cost savings and enable easier sharing of information across borders. The Alliance was later enlarged when LVNL (The Netherlands), AVINOR (Norway), Oro Navigacija (Lithuania) and PANSA (Poland) joined.