Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT by 35NgKf

VIEWS: 49 PAGES: 36

									     Dissertation
             on




FUTURE AIRSPACE
 MANAGEMENT
    IN INDIA




        by    Flt Lt Vinamrata Sharma
                                             2


                                   INTRODUCTION


1.     Situated at a strategic geographical location at the confluence of Air Traffic
Services (ATS) routes connecting major destinations in the East, South-East and
Western parts of the world, the Indian airspace has become a vital link to the smooth
flow of traffic between these major blocks of airspace.


2.     The six million square kilometres of airspace under the jurisdiction of India
includes huge oceanic airspace to the extent of 3.8 million square kilometres in the
Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and part of the Indian Ocean. The entire airspace is
managed through four Flight Information Regions (FIRs), viz Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi
& Kolkata. Eighty-nine international ATS routes and 110 domestic routes are
established in this space to provide efficient connectivity to various international and
domestic destinations, out of which 31 ATS routes are Required Navigation
Performance (RNP-10) routes.


3.     Under the aegis of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the
international ATS route structure between airports in South and South East Asia and
Europe via India and the Middle East was restructured in November 2002 under the
EMARSSH (Europe, Middle East, Asia revised Route Structure South of Himalayas)
project. Under this project, the ATS route structure through Indian FIRs was
realigned, and multiple parallel ATS routes were established, providing optimum and
cost efficient routes in terms of distance and fuel to the airlines.


4.     In November 2003, Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) was
implemented throughout Indian FIRs, through which six additional flight levels were
made available. Implementation of multiple parallel routes followed by RVSM
significantly enhanced the operational efficiency and savings in fuel and time. In
order to further improve the route structure and enhance the airspace capacity, five
new ATS route segments were implemented in 2006, enabling airlines to choose
optimum routes and levels to achieve cost-efficient operations.
                                            3


5.     Civil air traffic in India has been increasing at a rapid pace, and airspace
management in the country has not been able to keep pace, resulting in
unfortunate outcomes. In the past few years, there have been numerous
instances of flight safety incidents, including cases where civil and military
aircraft have had a close shave, causing safety concerns for both. A recent
media report cited 21 near misses in 2005 and 26 in 2006. Of these 26 incidents
in 2006, the IAF and civil aviation aircraft were involved in seven incidents. Lack
of coordination, poor communication leading to blockages in flow of information,
different control agencies controlling air traffic in the same airspace and
procedural lapses are some of the main reasons.


6.     The civil/military ATS organizations have evolved over the years to meet the
demands of air traffic in their respective areas of jurisdiction. In the early years of
aviation, because of limited air traffic, airspace was earmarked for exclusive use by
civil and military authorities with minimum co-ordination procedures and it was
possible for these organizations to operate in an isolated manner.


7.     However, the ‘open sky policy’ followed by a manifold increase in air traffic
through Indian skies and opening of military aerodromes to civil traffic have created a
situation in which the present division of airspace as military and civil pockets is
unable to cater to the increasing demands.


8.     ICAO recognized the need long ago, to co-ordinate civil and military traffic.
The Standards for co-ordination between military and civil ATS were included in
Annex 11. However, the method by which civil military co-ordination is to be
accomplished was left to the individual states.


9.     The main hurdle in the integration and co-ordination of civil and military ATS is
the very nature of operations. Full tactical freedom associated with flexibility vis-à-vis
safety of civil passenger carriers by rigid application of separation standards are
diametrically opposite positions. The view that civil aviation is a revenue-generating
body whereas the military remains a white elephant does not make matters easy.
The invisible protection of military umbrella, which enables civil operations, is lost in
                                           4


the cacophony of economic boom and socio-economic changes sweeping the
country.


10.    The co-operative use by civil and military aviation of airspace, which is today
considered as a continuum, drives the overarching requirement for interoperability
between military and civil ATM systems. Coexistence on a technical as well as an
operational level between military and civil airspace users has become a ‘must’.
Furthermore, the need for cost-efficiency by both civil and military air traffic service
providers can only enhance the need for interoperability. It can be argued, therefore,
that the need to provide dedicated systems for military ATS in often separate and
hardened facilities is gradually disappearing.


11.    The attempt here is to show a way out of this confusion by


       (a)    Highlighting the disadvantages of the present system.


       (b)    Examine the relevance and suitability of Airspace management as
       practiced in USA, Europe and Australia.


       (c)    Identifying areas of integration and the associated benefits.


       (d)    Suggest a Model Air Traffic Management plan suitable for India.


                            THE EXISTING SYSTEM


12.    Airspace Organisation. AAI has clearly demarcated its Control Areas and
Control Zones, Advisory airspaces, Flight Information Regions and the corresponding
ATS services that will be provided. Within the Indian terrestrial airspace of 10 lac sq
NM, more than 5 lac sq NM has been allocated to military in the form of restricted
and danger areas. These areas form largely the local flying areas of military, which
have not been strictly classified as per the ICAO airspace classification. Even in the
absence of published control zones/areas, instrument approaches – both precision
                                              5


and non-precision – and visual flying (circuits) are accommodated. Status of civil
traffic vis-à-vis military traffic within this restricted airspace is a matter of concern.


13.     Airspace Management. In peacetime, AAI and military are responsible for
provision of ATS within their respective areas of jurisdiction. The LFAs of IAF are not
available for regular and uninterrupted use by civil traffic. However, civil traffic
transiting through these areas on established ATS routes or proceeding to a military
aerodrome alone are provided with ATS by IAF apart from ATS provided to local
military flights.


14.     India’s civil aviation ministry initiated talks with the defence establishment to
ease restrictions on the use of airspace to accommodate growing civilian traffic. It
projected a two-fold increase in the fleet size of carriers over the next five years. With
military concerns being a sensitive issue and airspace management a pressing need,
there have been several rounds of talks to work out a plan for the flexible use of
India’s airspace. As a result, there have been some changes incorporated from time
to time e.g. AF Station; Hindan has allowed civil traffic the use of its airspace. But
clearly, this is insufficient and a more durable system needs to be evolved to utilise
the airspace efficiently and safely. The release of airspace under IAF is, in fact,
among the key suggestions in the draft civil aviation policy and the Vision 2020
document that is being examined by a Group of Ministers under the External Affairs
Minister.


15.     Air traffic in India increased 46 percent in the first six months of 2007 over the
same period of 2006. As many as 1,23,000 people travel daily by air in India and put
a heavy load on the ground and air infrastructure. Airports Authority of India (AAI),
therefore, has had to fast forward its upgrade plans, which include preferred routes
implementation, networking of military and civilian radars and consolidation of
airspace. Also, 70 percent of airspace around Delhi airport, one of the country’s
busiest, is under military control. As a result, civilian flights have to take circuitous
routes, creating safety issues, delays and wastage of fuel. In fact, the multiple
runways in Delhi and congestion at Mumbai have made these two airports the main
choke points, since they account for over 50 percent of India’s air traffic.
                                            6




16.    Recent acquisition of world class fighters and air to air refuelling capabilities by
IAF has widened the range and scope of military operations thereby posing a greater
challenge to airspace management. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
has also increased sharply over the past few years, posing not just a formidable
challenge for surveillance of airspace but also altering the military’s requirements.
Therefore, the airspace management system should be flexible enough to adapt to
dynamic military requirements. Despite the best efforts of the ATCOs, activation of
TCAS alerts is becoming a regular annoyance. The problem of Air Space
Management (ASM) is neither new nor peculiar to India. Through the past decades,
most developed regions in the world have encountered similar congestion and have
modified their ASM procedures accordingly.


17.    Co-ordination.       In principle, all flights originating from one aerodrome to
another are required to be co-ordinated. In practice co-ordination is easily achieved
within IAF ATS units and within civil ATS units. However, co-ordination between IAF
units and civil ATS units is poor except at units located adjacent to each other. ADC
for civil flights is co-ordinated through MLU. All deviations of such flights from their
tracks, estimates and planned time of arrival/departure are required to be notified for
fresh concurrence. A mutual trust deficit is a major reason for lack of effective co-
ordination.


18.    Radio Nav Aids.      AAI operates current and widely used nav aids like VOR,
DME, ILS, MSSR, ADS-B and automated ATM systems for navigation and
surveillance purposes. IAF is still heavily dependent on obsolete NDB, homers and
vintage surveillance radars. In addition, air-ground communication systems leave a
lot of scope for improvement. Though a modernisation project is on the drawing
boards, it may take a decade for the defence airfields to upgrade.


19.    Aeronautical Information.           IAF aerodromes, including those handling
civil flights, do not form a part of the integrated AFTN system. With limited hot lines
functioning between civil and IAF units, controllers depend on landlines for exchange
of aeronautical information. Installation of STD telephones in IAF ATCs’ has
improved the situation to some extent. Due to the absence of clear-cut policy, real
                                            7


time coordination is never achieved between civil and military units as a matter of
routine.


20.    ATS Personnel. The basic criteria for selection of candidates as controllers
are different. In order to cater to their organisational requirements, AAI and IAF train
ATCOs’ separately in their respective training institutes. The controller categorisation
scheme followed in IAF is at variance with the rating system followed by AAI. Similar
differences exist in respect of selection, training and employability of traffic
assistants. But experience has shown that the military ATCOs whenever on
deputation to AAI has proved to be equally capable of delivering goods as their civil
counterparts.


21.    Airport Emergency Services.         AAI has a separate airport fire organisation
unlike air force. The methodology used by IAF and AAI for determining the category
of aerodromes for the purpose of providing crash fire fighting facilities is different. In
addition, the policy on organization and manning has fundamental differences. The
airport Fire and Ambulance services often do not cater for the incidents involving
wide bodied passenger ac as they are mostly trained to meet the single cockpit
emergencies.


22.    Meteorological Services.           Apart from differences in terminology and
certain weather observation and reporting practices, services provided by met
sections of IAF and IMD are more or less similar.


23.    Standard Operating Procedures:             Military and civil authorities issue
instructions and publications on ATS related subjects separately. Considerable
differences exist in day-to-day operating procedures of the two systems. Differences
also exist wrt aerodrome markings, obstacle clearance and marking criteria, bird
reporting system, presence of aircraft arresting gears, SGA, aerodrome & approach
lighting system, PCN-ACN reporting etc. There is no procedure for friction testing and
rubber deposit removal with military. Wherever joint operations are envisaged the
applicability of others SOPs are seldom followed.
                                             8


Problem Areas


24.   The following problems or deficiencies exist wrt the present set up of air traffic
management in India.


      (a)    Due to blocking of airspace as military – restricted, danger or LFA – for
      prolonged periods of time (laterally and vertically), though not in use, civil
      users are forced to take a detour which increases the cost of operation,
      journey time, and fuel costs which have direct bearing on the nation’s
      economy. For example, a flight from Jamnagar to Bhuj following the normal
      routing would take 45 minutes while on a direct routing takes just 7 minutes.


      (b)    The LFA are merely designated as restricted areas without specifying
      the ATS classification of airspace or the type of ATS services, which will be
      provided. Additionally IAF has not identified its flights as IFR or VFR and
      definition of VMC by IAF differs from civil. Problems arise when civil flights
      operate into LFA of an IAF aerodrome in respect of type of services and
      separation between the flights to be provided. In the absence of clear-cut
      policy on airspace classification in IAF, military controllers end up providing
      ATS services commensurate with class B airspace which will multiply the
      controller's workload exponentially.


      (c)    Appropriate ATS authority for military airspace needs to be redefined.
      Only then, the interpretation and application of various ATS provisions will be
      effectively implemented. Often the authority is a military aviator who has the
      apathy towards civil operations.


      (d)    Even though instrument approaches are executed at all IAF
      aerodromes, a vast majority of them have not established or published a
      control zone or control area. In addition, Instrument approach charts of most
      of the IAF aerodromes are not validated by flight trials or ratified by experts.


      (e)    Real time co-ordination wrt civil/military flights proceeding from/to
      military aerodromes to/from civil aerodromes is non-existent. What goes on in
                                      9


the name of coordination is passing of flight plan data to parent FIC or
associated AFMLU.


(f)    Existing navigation, surveillance and communication systems of IAF are
outdated and improvements are being planned in a slow and phased manner.
AAI has embarked upon establishing state-of-the-art RANADS like ADS-B and
Performance Based Navigation (PBN). However, due to development of these
systems in isolation, neither of the parties is benefited.


(g)    Due to lack of inter-operability and compatibility, neither civil nor military
are able to exploit each other’s ground resources effectively.


(h)    The IAF ATS units do not receive real time information in respect of civil
aerodromes and vice versa. This result in insufficient briefing to pilots and
poor transmission of flight plan data. This at some stage may compromise
flight safety.


(j)    Policy on a common system of controller training, licensing and rating is
not available. Hence, cross training of controllers in field conditions is not
practicable. Lack of trust on each others capabilities and limitations is another
great impediment.


(k)    Disparity in the level of competence of Traffic Assistants vis-à-vis our
Air Field Safety Operators who primarily function as crash crew.


(l)    The existing state of military CFTS and manning policy are considered
to be highly inadequate in handling a commercial airliner rescue.


(m)     Disparity in usage of terminology and weather reporting practices.
Military aviators are still comfortable with the old usage of phraseologies.


(n)    Lastly, the present system does not address future requirements in
terms of infrastructure, traffic growth, ac capabilities etc.
                                             10


25.    It will be little premature to say that India has emerged as a developed nation
and at the same time an understatement to say that she is a developing nation. She
is in the transition phase and process of attaining greater heights in every sphere of
its economy. Under these circumstances, it must be the endeavour of everyone to
protect and optimise utilization of precious national resources. Considering these
facts, the need of the hour is to consider the finite source of Indian airspace as one
continuum for effective growth of aviation sector towards a symbiotic ATM system
where both parties involved are in a win win situation.


                                GLOBAL OVERVIEW


ICAO


26.    One of the initial objectives of ICAO was to develop international rules for the
safe orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic. The need to coordinate civil and
military traffic movements was quickly recognized by the 10th session of the assembly
of ICAO, which has subsequently been reaffirmed at the 12 th, 14th and 23rd and
subsequent sessions.


27.    For practical reasons, it is not always possible to envisage a single solution to
the problem of co-ordination between civil and military authorities. However, there are
three main methods adopted to help smooth the integration of civil/military traffic.
They are as follows:


       (a)    Total Integration: In this case a single unified service provides ATS to
       all aircraft irrespective of whether they are civil or military.


       (b)    Partial Integration: In this case the service is composed of both civil
       and military personnel and ATS are provided jointly by both authorities in
       common airspace.
                                            11


       (c)    Side-by-Side Operations: In this case civil and military authorities
       provide ATS separately. However, cooperation and safety is ensured through
       appropriate coordination at all levels.


USA


28.    The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the FAA, which is charged with
regulation and safety of all aviation activities in the US. The FAA and US military are
partners who ensure sovereign skies and participate as members in the National
Airspace System. FAA is the primary provider of ATC service. The FAA in
consultation with Dept of Defence (DOD) decides on the agency and the type of ATS
to be provided in a particular airspace. During periods of national emergency and
war, DOD assumes predominance and FAA will function as an adjunct to MOD.


29.    Administratively the FAA is subdivided into eight Air traffic regions. In order to
effectively control air traffic in the continental US, 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centres
(ARTCC) have been established. Airspace is equally divided among these centres,
which then delegate portions of their assigned airspace to numerous approach
control/ terminal control facilities. Airspace boundaries, transfer of control procedures
and any other requirements deemed necessary for flight safety of both military and
civil aircraft are defined through letters of agreement.


30.    The Air Force ATC structure is headed by a civilian, equivalent to a two star
general who is working for the Department of Defence as an Air Traffic Advisor and
Review Authority at the national level. At each of the eight regional HQs a military
rep, usually Lt Col, helps in facilities review and establish procedures and airspace
utilization pertaining to USAF.


31.    In 1994, the FAA reclassified the entire US airspace to align with ICAO
standards. Within this they have identified categories of airspace for special use viz.,
military operating area (MOA), restricted areas (RA), warning areas (WA),
supersonic corridors and FAA part 93 airspace.
                                          12


32.   ‘MOA’s are airspace of defined vertical and lateral dimensions, established
from 100 ft AGL up to but not including FL 180. Their primary purpose is to provide
airspace for combat manoeuvres, intercepts and aerobatic flights. ‘Restricted areas’
are established to segregate all IFR and VFR traffic from inherently dangerous
operations, such as missile firing, bombing ranges, and explosive ordinance disposal.
When these types of operations are done over water they are done in international air
space established as ‘warning areas’.


33.   All special user airspace can be activated and deactivated on an, ‘as needed’
scheduled basis. When not active, the ATC facility responsible for the area may use it
as an additional airspace for the movement of normal air traffic. The request to use
the airspace would include the time, altitude, civilian airways that would be affected,
and have to be closed to ensure safe air travel. A periodical return is submitted to
FAA specifying the details on airspace demanded and actually used.


34.   There is a regular and constant dialogue between DOD and FAA on all issues
pertaining to ATS. Roughly 99% of all airspace in USA is under radar coverage. The
Air Defence Radar systems have also been integrated for the provision of ATS.


EUROPE


35.    The implementation of the ‘Flexible Use of Airspace’ (FUA) concept was one
of the objectives of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) Strategy for the
1990s. The concept of FUA is in force in Europe since 1996. This concept was based
on the principle that airspace should no longer be designated as either purely military
or civil airspace but rather considered as one continuum and allocated on a day-to-
day basis according to user requirements. Any necessary airspace segregation
would be temporary, based on real time usage within a specific period.


36.   The introduction of the FUA concept in March 1996 had the direct
consequence of improving airspace planning and management and thus increasing
the capacity of Europe’s ATM system.     The Eurocontrol differentiated Operational
Air Traffic (OAT) from General Air Traffic (GAT). FUA concept offered more efficient
                                         13


ways of separating OAT and GAT by improving coordination between the civil and
military communities. GAT relates to military and civil flights that follow ICAO
rules. OAT is defined as “all flights which do not comply with the provisions
stated for GAT and for which rules and procedures have been specified by
appropriate national authorities”.


37.   The concept aims to increase the flexibility of airspace use in such a way as to
give Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) the potential to increase the capacity of
the airspace for which they are responsible. By way of appropriate civil / military
coordination, it allows States to maximise the joint use of airspace and ensures,
through the daily allocation of flexible airspace structures, that any necessary
segregation of airspace is based on a justifiable need within a specified period of
time. A fundamental aspect of FUA is that although a State is responsible for
allocating its airspace, the planning process, as well as the subsequent
implementation activities, should be pursued in an internationally co-ordinated and
co-operative manner by both civil and military authorities. A generic framework has
subsequently been developed to help States achieve the necessary degree of
commonality, whilst retaining latitude for States to incorporate their own national
requirements.


38.   FUA application is based on a reorganization of civil/military operations, the
establishment of new airspace structures and airspace management procedures and
the introduction of new supporting tools. FUA Concept is based on three levels of
airspace management (ASM)


       (a)   Strategic ASM.


       (b)   Pre-tactical ASM.


       (c)   Tactical ASM.


39.   At the Strategic Level, a “National High Level Civil/Military Airspace Policy
Body” establishes pre-determined airspace structures, routes and exercise areas,
formulates national ASM Policy taking into account National and International
                                             14


agreements, promulgates the establishment of National ATS Routes, establishes
flexible airspace structures and sets up procedures for the daily allocation of
airspace.


40.    At the Pre-tactical level, a “joint national civil-military airspace management
cell (AMC)” decides on the daily allocation of the required airspace. This cell collects
and analyses all airspace and route requests and publishes the national daily
airspace use plan (AUP), which details the consolidated airspace allocation.


41.    All daily AUPs are collected at the Centralized Airspace Data Function (CADF)
within the central flow management unit. The CADF compiles a daily ‘Conditional
Route Availability Message (CRAM) which provides the airspace users with a daily
notification of international conditional routings.


42.    At the Tactical level, airspace management involves the real time activation,
deactivation and /or reallocation of airspace promulgated in the AUP. It also involves
the resolution of specific airspace problems and/or individual OAT/GAT traffic
situations by civil/military ATS units through the real time sharing of civil/military flight
data, including controller’s intentions with or without support.


43.    UK has developed its ASM organisation in line with the above framework,
which is taken from the Euro-control handbook for ASM. This document details UK
policy for FUA and ASM, giving consideration to Euro-control guidelines, and
provides national guidelines and a framework from which both civil and military
instructions are generated.


44,    Flexible Airspace Structures.        The concept of FUA is based on the
potential offered by new or adaptable airspace structures and procedures that are
especially suited to temporary allocation and utilisation. The terminology associated
with flexible airspace structures is as follows:-


45.    Conditional Route (CDR).             CDR is a non-permanent ATS route or a
portion thereof, which can be planned and used only under certain specified
                                           15


conditions. CDRs permit the definition of more direct and alternative routes by
complementing and linking to the existing ATS route network. There are three
different types of CDR designated as CDR-1, 2 and 3, of which CDR-3 is only for
military use.


46.    Temporary Segregated Area (TSA).           TSA     is   airspace        of   defined
dimensions within which activities require the reservation of airspace for the exclusive
use of specific users during a determined period of time. In UK, TSAs are those
published MDAs that interact with CDRs and which can be allocated on a daily basis
for specified periods.


47.    Temporary Reserved Area (TRA).             TRA is a defined volume of airspace
normally under the jurisdiction of one aviation authority and temporarily reserved, by
common agreement, for the specific use by another aviation authority and through
which other traffic may be allowed to transit under ATC clearance.


48.    Cross-Border Area (CBA).           CBA is an airspace reservation (TSA or
TRA) established for specific operational requirements over international boundaries.
CBAs are established to allow military training and other operational flights on both
sides of a border. CBAs, not being constrained by national boundaries, can be
located so as to benefit both General Air Traffic (GAT) and Operational Air Traffic
(OAT) operations. CBAs, combined with the potential use of CDRs through them,
permit the improvement of the airspace structure in border areas and assist in the
improvement of the ATS route network.


49.    Reduced Co-ordination Airspace (RCA).             An    RCA    is   a    portion   of
airspace of defined dimensions within which GAT is permitted to fly ‘off-route’ without
requiring GAT controllers to initiate co-ordination with OAT controllers. The definition
of this type of airspace formalises existing UK procedures for off-route GAT in
periods of low traffic intensity or in specific areas agreed between civil and military at
Area Control Centres (ACCs).


50.    MDA. MDA is a UK specific term for a TSA, or part thereof, established over
the high seas. MDAs are effectively military TSAs. The Military Airspace Booking Co-
                                          16


ordination Cell (MABCC) is the executive authority for managing military use of
MDAs, which are predominantly sited over the high seas.


51.    Temporary airspace, within the definitions above, is only activated where a
particular type of airspace activity needs to be segregated from other operations.
Tactical requests, such as those made directly from a pilot to a controller or other
ATC agency are approved by an operational ATC supervisor.


AUSTRALIA


52.    The Australian Government announced a number of key reforms to the
governance and management of Australian airspace. The reforms establish clear
decision making responsibility and a single common risk management framework for
assessing and implementing future changes. It makes agencies more accountable for
their regulatory decisions.


53.    The Department of Defence retains its powers and responsibilities for defence
airspace, but its personnel are engaged with civil authorities to ensure optimisation of
airspace utilisation. Incorporation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-
Broadcast (ADS-B) is one such air traffic surveillance technology that has given them
important benefits in terms of better tracking, less restrictive air traffic control
separation standards, and reduced fuel burn and travel time. While ADS-B has been
in use in various parts of the world for some years now, it is only in relatively recent
times that it has become a serious option for widespread use as a surveillance and
traffic management tool. Future airspace reforms will need to be responsive to the
introduction and refinement of such technologies and changes in air traffic
management.


54.    In 2002 the Australian Government instituted a process where Australian
airspace management would be modelled on the US National Airspace System
(NAS). In part, this was to align Australia’s airspace classification system with ICAO’s
internationally recognised system, but mainly it was aimed at modelling its airspace
                                            17


system on the proven US system, which has an excellent track record. Highlights of
the changes are as follows:-


       a.     Improved services for VFR aircraft in classes of airspace where ATC
       separation is as such not provided.


       b.     Increased flexibility for IFR flights in all classes of airspace.


       c.     Changes in base heights of certain classes of airspace.


       d.     Making carriage of transponder mandatory.


       e.     All ATC procedures standardised to follow ICAO rules.


55.    The National Airspace System.               Implementation of NAS had been
undertaken in stages over recent years, as it was considered neither safe nor
practicable to change an airspace system overnight. Many of the major elements of
the NAS have now been implemented. The airspace regulatory function was
transferred from Airservices Australia to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
This was done to address any perceived conflict of interest between Airservices
Australia’s service delivery functions and its role as the airspace regulator. The
decision to transfer the function to the CASA was taken after careful note of industry
views, especially that a dedicated new unit within the safety regulator is the best
home for the airspace regulator. The decision reflects the Government’s confidence
in the reform programme currently underway in CASA and CASA’s focus on
improved regulatory outcomes. This function will become the responsibility of a
distinct operational unit within the CASA. This unit will be called the Office of
Airspace Regulation (OAR) and will have the decision making powers for regulating
civil airspace. The primary objective of the airspace regulator is to put in place
decisions that ensure safe, orderly and efficient flow of air traffic and are cognisant of
national security, protection of the environment and equitable use of Australian
airspace. It will be required to make airspace decisions in accordance with an
Australian Airspace Policy Plan which would set the Government’s policy for the
longer term objectives for airspace. It will determine standards for airspace
                                              18


classification and service provision, decide the levels of service to be provided
according to a common risk management framework and regulate service delivery.


Challenge within India.


56.     In order to look into the problem of airspace management in India, the
government set up an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee to discuss
various issues pertaining to the management and security of Indian airspace in
accordance with recommended practices laid down by ICAO. The terms of
reference for the Committee were:-


        a.       Civil-military coordination and cooperation in managing airspace
        and airspace security in India.


        b.       Suggesting    measures     for    FUA   while    keeping    in     view   the
        international changes and commitments.


        c.       Integration of civil-military radars and related infrastructure.


        d.       Optimum      human    resource     utilisation   for   effective    airspace
        management.


        e.       Creation of a Joint Control and Analysis Centre at all airports in
        India.


        f.       Any other issue vital to airspace management and security in India.


57.     The Committee suggested a roadmap for civil aviation and discussed
various issues pertaining to civil-military coordination with the MoD. Civil-military
coordination, however, is at its nascent stage. The main concerns of civil aviation
are:-


        a.       Large parts of the Indian airspace are reserved for defence use,
        thereby restricting the choice of optimal routes for commercial aircraft.
                                            19




       b.     Restrictions on civil aviation movements in terms of choice of
       altitudes, timings and routing of aircraft are uneconomical.


       c.     In order to meet the expanding requirements of civil air traffic, there
       is an urgent need to widen the existing air corridors and provide uni-
       directional air corridors to ensure smooth flow of air traffic and enhance
       safety.


       d.     There is an urgent need to optimise the utilisation of restricted
       airspace by networking of radar and data systems, on the basis of mutual
       compatibility.


       e.     Additional land is to be provided at civilian enclaves in military airports.


       f.     Additional slots should be made available for civilian flights at military
       airports.


       g.     To facilitate effective coordination and cost sharing, civil and defence
       air traffic controllers may be co-located where feasible.


       h.     The airspace management model of developed countries like USA
       should be followed to make the airspace permanently available for civil
       aviation and ensure that segments of airspace are re-vested and made
       available to defence on request.


58.   There is no formal organisational structure to coordinate the airspace between
civil and military aviation except Air Force Liaison Units at the four metropolitan
airports which merely functions as an agency to obtain ADC numbers for civil flights
and obtain FPN numbers for military flights. Therefore, there is no platform to discuss
and formulate a national level strategic airspace management mechanism. The
existing mechanism for tactical or routine liaison has proved grossly inadequate.
However, there is a general understanding between the AAI and IAF that FUA is the
way forward and formal discussions and official interactions have resulted in a better
                                            20


understanding of each other’s requirements. Some of the ensuing changes are as
follows:-


       a.     More IAF aerodromes are being made available for civil aviation. At
       present, 22 IAF airfields are used by civil aviation.


       b.     The airspace above Hindan airfield has been made available above
       3,600 ft, to decongest airspace above Delhi.


       c.     Five ATS routes have been allowed to be routed through restricted IAF
       airspace to save time and fuel.


       d.     Use of restricted IAF airspace above FL 280 in Hyderabad area.


       e.     Extension of watch hours at IAF airfields to accommodate civil flights.


       f.     Acceptance of international flights at IAF bases and acceptance of civil
       flights at strategic IAF airfields where civil enclaves do not exist.


       g.     Releasing IAF controllers on deputation to AAI for cross-training and
       utilisation of IAF controllers in times of crisis. (This was stopped after two
       batches)


59.    The flexibility demonstrated by the IAF notwithstanding, a lot more needs
to be done to achieve an efficient, if not ideal, airspace management mechanism
to meet the burgeoning civil aviation and operational requirements of military
aviation. The concerns of both the IAF and AAI need to be addressed at the
highest level to resolve the apprehensions and find a mutually agreeable path of
accelerated progress. The draft civil aviation policy of the MoCA envisages that
management of the entire Indian airspace be vested with civil aviation and
released for use by the defence services as per requirement projected. This
impinges upon the IAF’s right to utilisation of airspace and does not identify it as
an equal partner in policy formulation. The IAF, therefore, has projected that the
                                         21


issue needs to be resolved by a Joint Working Group comprising representatives
of all relevant agencies like the MoCA, MoD, IAF, DGCA and AAI.


60.   Unlike the smaller European and South-East Asian countries, India has a
large landmass, larger number of airfields and enormous airspace which can
accommodate both, the growing civil aviation, and military aviation. It is more a
question of optimum management of national resources in a manner that would
meet the requirements of growth in civil aviation on one hand, and accommodate
the operational imperatives of national security and military aviation on the other.
There is an inescapable requirement of the following:


       a.    Integrating civil and military radars to share a common air picture.


       b.    Having the CNS / ATM system on a common grid, and upgrading
       military aircraft to meet the requirements of future air navigation systems.


       c.    Having a common cadre of civil and military air traffic controllers
       who are familiar with each other’s controlling procedures and operational
       requirements. More so the system of licensed ATCOs should be in place.


       d.     Having civil and military aviation organisations sharing real-time
       communication and data links on flight plan information, deviations and
       delays in order to handle contingencies more efficiently.


61.   Most importantly, sharing of airspace through flexible use needs to be
formalised in India. In the overall interest of the growth of national economy and
expansion of safety requirements in airspace, there is necessity for a clear cut
policy on the modus operandi for sharing of airspace. There are bound to be
inherent organisational interests that would cause apprehensions and inertia;
however, these can be resolved through institutionalised structures and
legislative provisions.
                                         22


Augmentation of ATM infrastructure


62.   In order to cope with the sudden and unprecedented growth of traffic in the
recent past and to meet the growing demand in an effective manner, India has taken
up various measures to upgrade or augment the CNS / ATM infrastructure and
airspace capacity enhancement programme to deal with sustained growth efficiently
and safely. Some of the salient upgradation plans are:-


       a.    Installation of additional new radars to fill the gaps in radar cover and
       networking of all radars to provide an integrated seamless radar picture to
       various centres / sectors.


       b.    Networking of VHF / HF RT, apart from data linking, to ensure
       uninterrupted direct pilot-controller communication throughout FIRs.


       c.    Dedicated Satellite Communication Network (DSCN) connecting 80
       airports for voice and data communication.
       d.    Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS) at Mumbai to handle
       ground sub-network of Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN), in
       accordance with the ICAO Regional Plan.


       e.    Networking of all Digital Automatic Terminal Information Service
       (DATIS) to enable download of terminal information of any airport through
       data communication.


       f.    Implementation of Area Navigation (RNAV) / RNP procedures at all
       airports in a phased manner commencing with the Mumbai and Delhi airports.


       g.    Under the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Programme, an
       Indian Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) named ‘GAGAN’ (GPS
       Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) is under implementation. A Technology
       Demonstration System (TDS) has been installed and a Final Operating
       System (FOP) is likely to be available by 2010.
                                            23


       h.     A    Ground     Based      Augmentation     System     (GBAS)     is   under
       implementation at the Delhi and Mumbai airports.


       i.     Amalgamation of 11 ACCs into four main centres with multiple sectors,
       equipped with an integrated ATS automation system comprising data
       processing systems, display units, controller tools, safety nets, etc.


       j.     All control towers shall also be equipped with a modern ATS
       automation system comprising data processors, display units, controller tools
       and safety nets to improve operational efficiency and safety.


63.    Keeping in view the unprecedented traffic growth at present and also in future,
the Government started two new initiatives, joint airspace management and reducing
the time for clearance of cargo from the airports, so as to not only ease air traffic
congestion but also allow faster clearance of consignments arriving by air. Both the
initiatives were started on 01 Oct 07.


64.    The joint airspace management programme involving the armed forces and
AAI had started in the Chennai FIR on a trial basis and would be extended to other
regions depending on its outcome. The successful implementation of the project
could lead to better FUA for both civil and military operations. The optimal airspace
management was being done as per the laid down procedures of ICAO and
procedures followed in the UK. However it may be interesting to note that the
presence of military ac involved in operational flying is negligible.[


65.    The sharing of airspace between military and civil agencies has been a bone
of contention for some time now. The armed forces have not accepted the proposal
of vesting the entire Indian airspace with civil aviation authorities. The Indian airspace
is a national asset and should be available for all operators as per requirements as
there is need to protect it for reasons of national security, which cannot be
compromised.
                                          24


Ajay Prasad Committee


66.    The Ajay Prasad Committee was set up on 20 Mar 07 to formulate a master
plan for next generation futuristic air navigation services. The committee made many
recommendations on Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM), ASM, ATC procedures
and Voice Communication Systems (VCS). Some of the recommendations were as
follows:-


       (a)   An ATC delay of more than five minutes should be considered as
       significant and the capacity to handle air traffic should be determined
       accordingly. Once a capacity is analyzed scientifically, the system should not
       be overloaded.


       (b)   ATC Officers (ATCOs) should be provided standardized functional
       capabilities of ATS support systems like conflict prediction, detection, advisory
       and resolution needs etc.


       (c)   FUA should be accepted as the underlying basis for optimizing use of
       airspace to meet the needs of both military and civil aviation of the country, as
       accepted by MoD and IAF.


       (d)   There should a provision of web based meteorological briefing system
       to enable user agencies to have direct access to weather information. The
       committee has also recommended clear demarcation of the dual functional
       responsibilities of AAI as an ‘Aerodrome Operator’ and of an ANSP.


       (e)   The committee has stressed upon the necessity for seamless bi-
       directional flow of Met-data between the meteorological department and the
       AAI. In this regard it has recommended the setting up of a National Aviation
       Meteorological Centre (NAMC) under the Indian Meteorological Department to
       meet aviation weather requirements of all stakeholders.


       (f)   The AAI should immediately implement the international standards of
       ICAO, which stipulates that ATFM shall be implemented for airspace where air
                                    25


traffic demand at times exceeds capacity. Automation is essential and there
are a number of solutions available like terminal automation, integrated
automation, strategic oceanic flight planning across airspace etc. The airspace
should be an integrated one with automated ATM systems that have
networked radars and VHF communications. The AAI should also aim to
implement the following on priority.


       (i)     Consolidate airspace from the four FIRs currently existing, to two
       FIRs with two Area Control Centres, one at Delhi and the other at
       Mumbai.


       (ii)    Review ATC procedures being followed at various airports,
       especially at metro airports, and initiate such action, which would
       increase their capacity to handle air traffic. This should be undertaken
       as a continuous exercise.


       (iii)   Implement RNAV and RNP procedures at Mumbai and Delhi as
       soon as they are finalized. In due course, RNAV and RNP routes,
       which significantly enhance the capacity of airspace, should be
       adopted by AAI for both domestic and international routes.


       (iv)    VHF coverage through out the continental space at a height of
       20,000 feet and above should be implemented on a priority basis by
       May 2008.


       (v)     Provide VHF coverage in ACCs which have been declared as
       Class D airspace and are required to provide VHF coverage to all IFR
       and VFR flights.


       (vi)    Use DSCN for operating Remote Control Air to Ground (RCAG)
       VHF equipments.
                                                26


                 (vii)   Upgrade Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) facility
                 to DATIS facility having both voice and data link capabilities, at the
                 earliest.


                 (viii) Provide data link applications for departure clearances and
                 facility for data communication link to communicate with all ATS units,
                 especially for Mumbai and Delhi by August 2008.


                 (ix)    Design and provide, on a priority basis, approaches with vertical
                 guidance for runways not equipped with ILS. GBAS at Delhi and
                 Mumbai airports should be completed on priority.


                 (x)     Network all radars by 2008-09, and ensure that all new radars
                 being procured should be commissioned into the network, permitting
                 them to operate from the ACCs of Delhi and Mumbai, using DSCN.


      (g)       The committee also feels that the IAF should review its Restricted and
      Danger Areas norms expeditiously. As a first step, the airspace above 29,000
      feet could be released for civil traffic in the presently defined restricted / danger
      airspace. The defence requirements would have a priority of not only increasing
      their height requirements but also expanding the restricted airspace, whenever
      required. To divert the planned civilian traffic and not to cause undue hardship to
      passengers, a notice of at least 24 hours would need to be given. The normal air
      defence traffic would continue to use the upper airspace above 29,000 feet along
      with the civilian air traffic as at present.


                              PROPOSED MODEL FOR INDIA


67.      USA does not envisage any airborne threat to its mainland except for terrorist
attacks and drug traffickers from South America and Cuba. In this scenario, USA
could afford to provide SSR coverage across most of its airspace. The events of 9/11
have changed it’s thinking in terms of only SSR coverage. The threat perception – as
in war – is unlikely to change. While the concept of joint user airspace is useful to us,
                                           27


only SSR coverage may not be practicable to our country due to our threat
perceptions. Eurocontrol consists of sovereign countries, which are, in some cases,
smaller than our states. While these countries have adopted single Euro currency
and moving towards a Single European Sky, we are still fighting for water rights
between states. While some of the regulations can be put to good use by our country,
the entire model may be effective only if all the SAARC nations decide to come
together and form an integrated ATS system for South Asia.


68.    We are, therefore, required to design our own integrated civil/military ATS
system. We can consider the benefits of FAA and Eurocontrol, and amalgamate them
to our requirements. Airspace should no longer be designated either military or civil,
but should be considered as one continuum and used flexibly on a day-to-day basis.
Consequently, any necessary segregation of airspace and air traffic should only be of
a temporary nature. The benefits are clearly the best use of a finite resource, reduced
overall costs through sharing, and enhanced safety and security. If we want to
achieve full implementation and resultant advantages of Flexible Use of Airspace/
Free Route Structure, then all concerned should be convinced that a good
civil/military relationship is crucial.


Organizational Set Up


69.    It is proposed to have a 3 tier organizational set up, similar to Eurocontrol.
They are at the national, regional and field levels.


70.    National Level: A Commission should be established by an Act of Parliament
and vested with powers to function as a policy maker for the entire Indian airspace.
They should formulate policies in respect of ATS, aerodromes, procedures or any
other issue, which directly or indirectly effects aviation in India. The policies made by
the Commission should be legal and binding on all parties involved. MOD should be
a partner in the commission represented by civilian/military controllers of appropriate
status working for MOD. Constant dialogue between civil and military parties to
improve coordination for a unified ATM system needs no emphasis. The charter for
the commission should be to
                                           28


       (a)     Formulate national aviation policy governing the airspace management
       of India.


       (b)     Regulate the use of navigable airspace to ensure safety of aircraft and
       efficient use of airspace


       (c)     Periodical review after giving full consideration to requirements of
       national defence, commercial and general aviation.


       (d)     Complete aviation infrastructure development under a combined
       scheme.


       (e)     Formulate policies on selection, training and licensing of ATCOs,
       certification of aerodromes and other airport services.


71.    At Regional Level: It is proposed to have 11 regional centres that will be
responsible for the complete Indian airspace similar to FAA. They are Udhampur,
Delhi, Varanasi, Calcutta, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, Hyderabad,
Chennai and Trivendrum. These will be under the national commission for
implementation of various policies. The primary purpose of these centres should be
to accept plans for usage of airspace, timings, altitudes, closure of routes, reservation
of airspace/routes and coordination. If required, Delhi and Mumbai could be sub
divided into north and south or east and west depending on the traffic density.
Effective flexible utilization of the airspace by both partners to its capacity has to be
ensured by these centres. It will have representation of both civil and military
specialists.


72.    At Field Level: Each controlled aerodrome will be under the command of one
regional centre. It could be purely military, civil or a joint user. Manning of executive
positions and staffing should be on as required basis.
                                             29


Functional Aspects
73.   National level: The primary task of the commission is to formulate an effective
and efficient Air Traffic Management system over Indian skies. The commission must
evolve national policies, which are mutually beneficial. The commission should:


       (a)      Reassess the national airspace organization and route structure
       periodically with the aim to achieve flexible airspace structures and
       procedures, to the extent possible.


       (b)      Monitor and validate activities requiring airspace segregation and
       assess level of risk and capacity for other users.


       (c)      Assess and establish classification of entire Indian airspace including
       military airspace and revise the restricted and danger airspaces. In the interim,
       I propose that the existing classification of airspace should be applied all over
       India.


       (d)      Establish, revise and publish instrument approach procedures and
       charts wrt all aerodromes in India.


       (e)      Improve and Standardize the CNS facilities at all Indian aerodromes
       taking into account specific requirements and limitations at military
       aerodromes.


       (f)      Formulate a national policy for selection, training, licensing and
       categorization of controllers and traffic assistants and plan for effective cross
       utilization of both civil and military controllers. Such a policy will negate the
       requirement of sending large number of military controllers on deputation to
       AAI.
       (g)      Establish a policy for training qualified civil-military personnel as
       instrument approach procedure design specialists.
                                           30


       (h)    A unified standard airport fire services needs to be formulated. This
       should include a common policy on equipment, selection and training of
       personnel, manning of safety vehicles.


       (j)    Establish a network of Computer based Data Handling System linking
       all aerodromes in India.


       (k)    Establish a network of primary and secondary radars over the entire
       Indian airspace including integration with air defence environment.


74.    Regional Level: The main task is to conduct operational management within
the framework of pre-determined airspace structure, priority rules and negotiation
procedures as defined by the commission.          ATM has to support daily military
operations through the provision of and access to sufficient airspace volumes for
military needs. Available airspace is becoming an increasingly scarce resource.
Efficient handling of airspace requests and airspace allocation requires adequate
system support. Rapid feedback on the reservation process to the end users as well
as the notification of activation /deactivation in real time to all interested parties is
demanded. This involves the day-to-day management and temporary allocation of
airspace and the communication of airspace allocation data to all parties involved
through a daily airspace utility programme. In order to promulgate this programme
at the agreed time, the planning of military activity should be passed to the centres
well in advance.


75.    A record of actual utilization of airspace against that demanded by military
needs to be maintained and periodically reviewed. Similarly, a record of utilization of
airspace released for civil operations should be analysed. This would help in
identifying optimal usage of airspace.


76.    The centres also have the task of coordinating major events planned long
before the day of operation - large-scale military exercises - that require additional
segregated airspace and notify these activities by AIS publication.
                                         31


77.   Field Level: The flexible usage of airspace concept is implemented in real
time at this level. It includes aerodrome/approach control, radar, terminal
approach/area control and their related day-to-day functions. Real time airspace
management within the framework of daily airspace utility programme is achieved.
Provision of ATS as per airspace classification, activation and deactivation of
reserved airspace, real time coordination with neighbouring ATS units etc. form part
of its routine. Any problems faced or envisaged should be laterally co-ordinated or
referred to the concerned regional centre. Frequent feedback from all the end users
must be encouraged to resolve conflicts and improve the system.


Advantages & Drawbacks


78.   The following advantages will be derived from the proposed model:


      (a)    Conditional Routes and Flexible use of Airspace will not only provide
      more routes but also direct access flights.


      (b)    Reduced flight times and reduced operational and fuel costs.


      (c)    Availability of conditional routes will improve the traffic handling
      capacity of ATM system and cater for future traffic demands.


      (d)    Sharing of radars and other ground resources will reduce installation
      costs and save precious national resources.


      (e)    Interoperability and compatibility will reduce operational costs. For
      example, during peak flying activity in Hyderabad area, at least four radars will
      be in operation – MSSR of civil, three SREs (SSR) and AD radar of Air Force.
      In this case, inputs of one radar can be effectively shared by all ATS units,
      thus savings to the exchequer will be phenomenal.


      (f)    Standardised selection, training and rating and common training for
      procedure specialists will ensure common controlling and procedure
                                           32


       standards across the country. This will also help in joint functioning of
       controllers in civil-military aerodromes.


       (g)    Real time transfer of information by integrated voice and data links has
       a direct bearing on flight safety by improving coordination and cooperation.


       (h)    Classification of entire space, establishing control zones and areas will
       standardise the type of ATS services being provided in India.


       (j)    Defining Operational and General Flying will not only identify the type of
       services to be provided between military and civil flights but also improve flight
       safety.


       (k)    Publishing of Joint Manuals will standardise Operating Procedures. For
       example, Zoning Laws, Obstacle clearance criteria, separation standards etc.


79.    No system can be fool proof and this model also has certain drawbacks. They
are:
       (a)    Military flying has to make a huge concession in terms of handing over
       jurisdiction of their airspace. While reservation gives them the amount of
       airspace required for operations, freedom to operate at short notice will be
       curbed.


       (b)    Even though the nation benefits by reducing long-term costs, the short-
       term implementation costs are also high.


Key Result Areas


80.    Prior to the implementation of the suggested model, some important steps are
to be taken at the National level.


       (a)    Initiate a dialogue with AAI/ DGCA/ISRO/ECIL/BEL etc on relevant
       topics. Some of the pertinent points for discussion can be as follows: -
                                          33


       (i)      The present Satellite based Nav systems are unreliable for a
       variety of reasons. Will project GAGAN be developed on fast track or
       any other type of CNS system? Similarly the other agencies can be
       approached in tackling interoperability, connectivity, integrated voice
       and data handling systems etc.


       (ii)     Reduced separation minima for Operational flying as required by
       military.


(b)    Computer based Automated Data Handling System for ATS messages,
networking all the aerodromes in India including military aerodromes.


(c)    Networking of        Civil   and    Military ATS Radars with maximum
interoperability and compatibility. Considering the threat perceptions, the
Airspace South of Mumbai-Nagpur-Kolkata can be primarily SSR with primary
back up, wherever felt necessary. Mumbai-Srinagar axis can be primary radar
network with SSR back up. If necessary, Air Defence radars should also be
integrated into the system.


(d)    Integrated voice communication system between all aerodromes
including military aerodromes and air-ground communication system.
Additionally,    military   aerodromes         may   incorporate   other   confidential
frequencies on as required basis.


(e)    Common training, licensing and rating scheme for civil/military
controllers.


(f)    Separate traffic assistants from crash crew, especially in IAF.


(g)    Crash Fire Fighting to be a separate organisation with special attention
to common CFTs and manning policies.
                                             34


       (h)    Hazardous/Operational military flying to be defined and as far as
       possible should be in segregated airspaces. All other military flying should be
       considered as General military flying following ICAO flight rules.


       (j)    If possible, certain volume of airspace could be identified as “exclusive
       military zone”, i.e. civil usage of that airspace is not at all profitable nor does it
       reduce flight times/delays; only then it may be made available as military
       zone, however its existence should be kept to minimum and subject to
       periodical review.


       (k)    Integrate the meteorological facilities available with military on ICAO
       lines i.e. Common reporting practices and standard usages of terminologies
       are to be enforced.


                                         CONCLUSION




81.    All of us are aware that the volume of air traffic over Indian skies has multiplied
tremendously, but a corresponding growth in infrastructure and coordination towards
the utilisation of available airspace to its capacity without compromising safety is still
a distant dream. Whatever improvements or up gradation that have taken place, are
in isolation and more so on the civil side. Military assets for CNS requirements are
much below the desired levels. It appears we are stuck in a time warp; my aircraft,
my airspace is still the norm. Rather than laugh at the commercial interests of civil
aviation, we need to understand the economic chain reaction – tourist inflows, hotel
industry, job opportunities etc are the money-spinners also required for the economic
development. The civil ATS needs to understand that we are here to do a job – that
of providing security to the nation without which there can be no economy. More
importantly, both the sides need to understand that we are brothers in arms for nation
building. In the years to come, our country cannot remain a mute spectator to the
global developments. Any change is easier said than done. The proposed changes
require a strong will to be brought into effect.
                                        35


82.    In 2003 ICAO released its global ATM Operational Concept. This is ICAO’s
vision for an integrated, harmonised and globally interoperable ATM system up to
and beyond the year 2025. The operational concept describes how an integrated
global ATM system should operate, providing States and industry with clearer
objectives for designing and implementing ATM and supporting CNS systems.


83.    ICAO’s vision acknowledges the need for a global, seamless, safe and
efficient system for air navigation and identifies that Global Navigation Satellite
Systems are most suitable to meet a large part of such need. It is now possible to
contemplate a move from reliance upon ground based navigation and surveillance
systems to a space-based system that is capable of handling significant increases in
traffic densities.


84.    The problem of airspace management needs to be resolved within the
framework of ICAO regulations and guiding principles because safety,
interoperability and cost-effectiveness can be achieved only when there is global
uniformity in air traffic control and airspace management. The requirements of
air defence and military operational flying would have to be given precedence
over general aviation whenever the situation demands; however, it should
preferably be pre-planned and with the exception of time critical contingencies
(air defence missions, casualty evacuation and search and rescue missions,
etc). There are bound to be certain geographical areas that would have to be
decongested depending upon the density of flying activity, be it civil, military or
private. Both the civil and military aviation authorities have identified and
addressed some of the critical areas, although a clear-cut policy on FUA has not
been formalised owing to organisational apprehensions.


85.    The world is gradually moving away from a country specific national ATM
system. However, national interests must always continue to remain the top priority
for us. We need a policy that ensures progress on both fronts simultaneously in a
manner that permits a switch over to operational time requirements quickly and
efficiently. A feature of any policy is that there is never an end state. There will
always be room for improvement so as to ensure that the policy and its
implementation meet the expectations of the nation and help ensure competitiveness.
                                          36


New challenges and opportunities will continue to arise and must be tackled as we
move on.




                                   REFERENCES




   http://frontierindia.net/airspace-management-in-india


   Air Power Journal Vol 2 No 4 Winter 2009


   www.caa.co.uk


   http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/wtr/releases/2006/Sep/155WT_2006.htm


   ICAO Annexes

								
To top