Poland first country in Europe to introduce ‘revolutionary’ air traffic control system

The new system will allow for so called ‘airspace digitization’, creating an accurate map of aircraft flight trajectory based on provided data. PANSA

Poland has become the first country in Europe to implement a new air traffic control system.

The iTEC v3, which will support the Single European Sky (SES) project, was created by Spanish manufacturer Indra. Once fully operational the SES will be implemented in all EU countries and the UK.

A major benefit of the new software is the improvement to the alert system known as the  Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA) system, which warns of potential hazards such as mid-air collisions.PANSA

The new air control system promises to reduce fuel consumption and subsequently CO2 emissions, provide more direct routes for planes, reduces costs for carriers and increase the air space capacity.

Janusz Janiszewski , president of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA), said: “We are implementing the latest generation of iTEC as the first in Europe and will thus become a platform enabling further development of the system for other European ones. At the Air Traffic Management Centre in Poznań, we will continue research and development work aimed at improving the final version of the system.”

The new system will allow for so called ‘airspace digitization’, creating an accurate map of aircraft flight trajectory based on provided data. This will mean that the air traffic controller will be able to not only track a plane’s current location but also be able to see where it will be precisely at a specific time in the future.

Janusz Janiszewski , president of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA), said: “We are implementing the latest generation of iTEC as the first in Europe and will thus become a platform enabling further development of the system for other European ones.Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

A major benefit of the new software is the improvement to the alert system known as the  Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA) system, which warns of potential hazards such as mid-air collisions.

The outgoing PEGASUS_21 system, which has been used in Poland for 12 years, only covered the Polish territory airspace.

In the time the PEGASUS_21 system has been in use the volume of planes travelling through Polish airspace has grown from 552,000 in 2009 to 912,000 in 2019.

Once fully operational the system, which is currently being used at Poznań airport, will be implemented in all EU countries and the UK.Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

The number of flights last year and so far this year have understandably been down on the peak of 2019 but as countries return to normality it is to be seen if the number of flights will return to pre-COVID levels.

Poland’s new central CPK transport hub, with a new international airport at its heart, is currently being planned and the volume of air traffic over Poland could see a dramatic increase again once it is built with China seeing the airport as its entry point for distribution into Europe and beyond.

Javier Ruano, director of ATM programs at Indra, said: “This project is a big technological step forward thanks to the first implementation of iTEC OneSky and will make PANSA one of the leading providers of aviation services in the context of the new Single European Sky strategy.”