The Single European Sky (SES) is a flagship initiative of the European Commission. The objective is to modernise Europe’s inefficient airspace management, which is estimated to cost airlines an extra 5 Billion Euro each year.
Completing the SES will contribute to several Commission priorities: jobs and growth, internal market, energy union, global competitiveness. Indeed SES’s objectives are:
- decreasing the impact on the environment by 10%,
- tripling airspace capacity,
- cutting the cost of ATM management by 50%, and
- increasing safety tenfold.
- Fuel reduction by 65 litres per flight resulting in 130 kg less C02 emissions
- Two landings more per hour increases passenger punctuality
- Controller workload for label maintenance reduced by factor of two
- Experts from basic research work with ANSPs lead by DLR
- MALORCA reduces deployment and maintenance costs of ABSR by machine learning from recorded radar and speech data
- Process of keeping radar labels up-to-date is automated increasing the acceptance of ATCOs also for other assistance systems
- Increased capacity increases gross national product and number of jobs in ATC industry
AcListant® has developed the Assistant Based Speech Recognition technology (ABSR). MALORCA makes it affordable. In detail the contributions of MALORA will be:
Contribution to increasing capacity of ATM systems:
AcListant validation trials for Düsseldorf approach area have shown that in heavy traffic scenarios up to two arrivals more per hour are possible if controllers are supported by ABSR. European hub airports, therefore, can increase their daily capacity. Smaller hub airports like Vienna with arrival peaks can increase capacity or decrease delay by introducing ABSR. The sum of arrival peaks in Vienna is approximately 7 hours per day.
Contribution to increasing safety of ATM systems:
AcListant validation trials for Düsseldorf approach area have shown by both subjective and objective measurements that workload significantly decreases if ATCOs are supported by ABSR. Used subjective measurements were ISA (Instantaneous Self-Assessment) and NASA-TLX (Task Load Index). Objective workload measurements were performing a secondary task and measuring the time needed for radar label maintenance by mouse input.
Improvement of ATM cost-efficiency:
Validations trials for Düsseldorf approach area have shown that fight time and flown distance were significantly reduced in medium traffic scenarios with 35 arrivals per hour if ATCOs are supported by ABSR. Flight time was reduced by 77 seconds per aircraft which results in fuel savings of 50 to 65 litres per flight. ATCOs not born as digital natives will be more efficient, when supported by speech recognition resulting in fewer sector splittings.
Contribution to reducing the impact of air transport on the environment:
Validations trials for Düsseldorf approach area have shown that fuel savings of 50 to 65 litres per flight are possible if ATCOs are supported by ABSR. This results in 130 kg less C02 emissions per fight. This could lead to more than 23 million kg less C02 emissions per year and airport with 500 arrivals per day.
The technology developed in MALORCA is the enabler for the use of the newly developed ABSR technology in ATC systems because MALORCA will significantly reduce the investment costs. Furthermore also maintenance costs will be significantly lower using the MALORCA’s approach. The approach itself bases on the self-configuration of the ABSR to the local requirements.
MALORCA brings together in one research project both, basic research from Saarland University and Idiap Research Institute and industrial needs from two air navigation service providers (Austro Control and Air Navigation Services from Czech Republic). The activity is completed by German Aerospace Center with experience in both worlds.
Contribution to change management:
The benefits of ABSR for the whole ATC system are already quantified. A business case, however, requires balancing both benefits and costs. First ANSPs have to invest and airlines (reduced fuel) and airports (more movements) will have the benefits. MALORCA will significantly decrease ANSP’s deployment and maintenance costs of ABSR by machine learning algorithms. Additionally the process of keeping the data resulting from controller pilot communication up-to-date is automated increasing the acceptance of the ATCOs also for other assistance systems.
Benefits for citizens and passengers:
More than 23 million kg less C02 emissions per year and airport with 500 arrivals per day could be reached according to evaluation results from Düsseldorf airport. Passengers will provide by a higher punctuality based on the higher capacity.
Contribution to creating jobs and growth:
Increased capacity for European airports will result in more passengers and flights in European airspace resulting in an increase of gross national product. Furthermore European suppliers which are using these technologies are the global leaders and able to create additional highly qualified jobs.