Single sky over the Alps

Wide-area multilateration in Austria has already saved more than 10 million euros for Austro Control since launch in 2005.
OCTOBER, 28 / 2019 / 3 MINUTES
Фото вышки в Örnsköldsvik
The traditional radar surveillance in the Innsbruck region is practically impossible and is not of economic benefit, due to the terrain and the proximity of the mountains. Changeable weather, heavy rainfall and low cloud cover characterize the valley. The proximity of the mountains complicates flights so much that in certain areas, arriving and departing aircraft could fly only in turn through a narrow corridor between the mountain ranges.
The Austro Control decided to deploy Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) in the region to ensure the safe flights. Since 2005, 11 ground-based multi-position stations have been providing air navigation coverage of up to 8,000 feet (about 2,400 m), covering an area of about 480 km². The key features of this system are high accuracy and data update rate; the ability to adapt the coverage area to the terrain; simpler installation and lower power requirements; as well as the ability to track air vehicles with various transponder types and the ability to work with ADS-B 1090ES.
The implementation of the system made it possible to optimize the spacing intervals between aircraft and introduce schemes based on the required navigation performance (RNP) at the Innsbruck airport. Optimized intervals made it possible to move away from the rotating arrival and departure of aircraft from the valley, and thanks to the RNP introduction, the new flight paths were laid that used to be simply impossible.
Air Berlin was one of the first airlines that took RNP advantages in Innsbruck.
«A feature of the system in Innsbruck is that RNP can also be used for departure, which gives us a huge competitive advantage. Air Berlin can send its aircraft even in fog with visibility of only 300 meters without a threat to flight safety. Other airlines in such conditions are forced to stay on the ground and wait for the flight weather»,
— says Mark Altenshaydt, Boeing fleet leader in Air Berlin.
As already noted, the multilateration station supports the operation of satellite automatic dependent surveillance — broadcasting (ADS-B 1090ES). "ADS-B is required today, and in the future the significance of this technology will only increase," says Austro Control.
Innsbruck wide-area multilateration .
Since the launch of WAM in early 2005 in Innsbruck, the system has saved for Austro Control over 10 million euros compared to the costs of secondary radars operating. Moreover, the new system did not require any changes in the requirements for aircraft avionics, which is extremely important. In 2006, Innsbruck Airport received the Innovation Achievement Award in Barcelona.

In 2014 Austro Control, based on the successful experience of Innsbruck, launched the nationwide WAM. The system is designed to complement, and in some cases replace, existing secondary radars. It is reported that WAM reduce the operating costs significantly, compared to traditional radars. The new Austrian national system covers an area of more than 51 thousand km², consists of 61 sensors and a data processing system that are transmitted directly to the Eurocontrol Air Traffic Management Service (ARTAS). ARTAS is a pan-European distributed data processing system that correlates information received from WAM with information received from secondary radars and brings them together. It is noted that WAM is capable of handling more than two thousand targets, providing better performance than required by the EUROCAE ED-142 standard. The system in Innsbruck was among the first wide-band multilateration systems implemented in the world.
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