The 22-month project showed safety, efficiency and sustainability benefits

Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) from Canada, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States have worked together to successfully complete a laboratory demonstration of the world’s first multi-region trajectory-based operations (TBOs), a major step forward. to make interregional air traffic management a reality.

ANSPs currently provide air navigation services to aircraft separately and independently, only when aircraft traverse the flight information regions under their respective responsibility. Under TBO, ANSPs jointly plan and optimize, from departure to landing, the entire flight path of an aircraft across regions and countries, taking into account conditions such as weather, air activities, airspace closures, and the traffic. The multi-regional TBO is expected to fundamentally change the way air traffic is managed and deliver significant benefits by improving safety and efficiency; minimize delays and interruptions; reduce cost and travel time; and reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

To make TBO a reality, ANSPs must agree to jointly and collectively manage and optimize flights, rather than individually and separately, and develop technologies (machines), including advanced analytical tools using artificial intelligence and machine learning, (human) skills and protocols. (methods) for information exchange, data security, trajectory negotiation, and collaborative decision-making.

In the first multi-region TBO project, Aeronautical Radio Thailand Ltd. (AEROTHAI), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and NAV CANADA worked together to develop these capabilities and tested them in different scenarios of routes, traffic and weather conditions. The 22-month project culminated in a successful laboratory demonstration involving all five ANSPs, which took place May 10-12, 2022.

The learnings and insights from the lab demonstration will be shared with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) to support the development and realization of global TBO. As a next step, the five ANSPs will extend the multi-regional TBO project beyond laboratory demonstration to test TBO in real flights and develop rapid-time simulations to quantify the system-level benefits of TBO.

Mr. Tinnagorn Choowong, Executive Vice President (Operations) of AEROTHAI, said: “Through this collaborative effort, we are able to see how the interests and expectations of our ATM stakeholders can be better balanced across borders by the adoption of OBT. This demonstration is once again proof of how significant the international collaboration, to which AEROTHAI has long been committed, is to improve the safety and efficiency of the global ATM network.”

Mr. Han Kok Juan, Director General of CAAS, said: “The conclusion of this multi-regional collaboration involving five major ANSPs is a significant milestone and an important pioneer for the transformation of global air traffic management to support the growth of the air traffic in a safe, efficient and sustainable way. TBO is a game-changing initiative and, along with sustainable aviation fuel, an important pathway for international aviation to achieve its long-term goal of net zero by 2050. CAAS looks forward to continuing this important work with our ANSP partners to make the TBO a reality”.

Mr. Paul Fontaine, Acting Assistant Administrator for the FAA NextGen Organization, said: “Through this successful demonstration, we have validated the ability to share, manage and execute trajectory information with our global partners. This is a great example of how extending aviation research to include international partners leads to our shared leadership in improving safety, reducing delays, reducing travel time and costs, and reducing emissions”.

Mr. Hiroshi Shibutake, Director, Air Navigation Services (ANS) Planning Division, ANS Department, JCAB, said, “Japan is located to the east of Asia and is connected to North America through the Pacific Ocean. JCAB is the cornerstone of the multi-regional relationship connecting the two important regions. We recognize that future TBO operations require an interoperable environment and would like to continue this essential collaborative work on an ongoing basis.”

Mr. William Estrada, Assistant Vice President, ATM Engineering, NAV CANADA, said: “NAV CANADA collaborates on initiatives with ANSPs around the world and, like CAAS, we share the vision of providing more efficient and cost-effective air navigation services. . NAV CANADA will continue to collaborate with our international partners as we move towards achieving the strategic goal of implementing TBO globally.”