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Newsletter 6, September 2017
Skyguide and drone specialists demonstrate potential drone monitoring system
How can drones be integrated into existing airspace use? Skyguide and its project partners have presented Europe’s first-ever demonstration of how drones can be safely and efficiently admitted into the continent’s airspace. The public demonstration in Geneva on 14 September proved that, with today’s technologies and corresponding air traffic management procedures, the registration of drones, their access authorization and their integration into airspace use could soon be a reality.
New radar facilities to better cope with wind power plants and mobile phone antennas
Primary radar provides enhanced safety at Zurich and Geneva airports. These radar facilities detect all flying objects… and more. Wind farms and mobile phone antennas can also produce unwanted signals that make the job harder for air traffic controllers. In view of this, skyguide is investing some CHF 15 million in procuring new state-of-the-art radar equipment for Zurich and Geneva. This latest generation of radar facilities has the potential to substantially improve the compatibility of such energy production and communication technologies with the monitoring of air traffic activities.
Geneva Tower enhancing safety and raising capacity with new e-strip monitoring system
Geneva Airport has seen above-average growth in its air traffic volumes for some years now. This has been posing quite a challenge to the air traffic controllers who are tasked with ensuring safe and regulated flight operations. These controllers make full use of the latest monitoring system technologies. And here skyguide is currently working with the airport authority to develop a new system based on electronic strips (“e-strips”) that will tangibly improve the flexibility and the efficiency of the Geneva control tower’s operations. It’s yet another example of skyguide’s innovative drive.
61st Gordon Bennett World Long-Distance Gas Balloon Championship held in Fribourg
Some 22 teams from 13 countries took off from Gruyères Airport on 8 September for the latest Gordon Bennett no-time-limit gas balloon championship. And thanks to skyguide’s skilled coordination, this world-famous ballooning contest was able to begin in daylight, at a time of sizeable volumes of other airspace users, for the first time in years.
The Breitling Sion Airshow on the weekend of 15-17 September was Switzerland’s biggest air meeting this year. Skyguide’s professional Team Sion of air traffic controllers ensured safe and smooth performances by all the aircraft on the programme in the topographically challenging surrounds. Skyguide was also a business sponsor of the event, and both skyguide solutions and its HR Marketing had a presence on the ground.
Skyguide managed 590,091 civil IFR flights in the first six months of 2017, some 3.2% more than in the same period last year. The highest daily volume in the period was the 4,222 flights that were handled on Friday 30 June. This further traffic growth did prompt an increase in delays per flight for the period from the historically low level recorded for January to June 2016. But 96.5% of all flights were still punctual in the period from an air traffic management perspective.