Can more targeted funding help?
Through our work helping ANSPs upgrade or replace their ATM infrastructure we see that despite the emergence of new concepts from SESAR, and the availability of INEA grant funding, things are moving at snail's pace. We need to accelerate change, but how?
The European market is dominated by three main players: Leonardo, Indra and Thales - sufficient choice to conclude that lack of competition is not really the issue.
The lack of interoperability between systems is a more significant problem. Current systems are the result of unique development and adaptation over many years. System replacement therefore usually requires a complete change in system concept, significant retraining and, of course, significant cost.
But many of the requirements on ATM systems are similar and are further harmonising as SES legislation pushes industry towards increased interoperability. This means that there is now an opportunity to accelerate change; to reform the market and create a future model built on a core interoperable baseline that offers a win-win for both ANSPs and suppliers. Suppliers would be able to develop a whole new range of system functionality; and ANSPs would receive a greater choice of product at a competitive price, with specific functionality added in a modular way.
But how do we achieve this?
Find ways to accelerate Standards programmes and potentially fund the industrialisation of a key part of the architecture.
Further encourage industrial partnerships (expansion of current ones, formation of new ones) with a focus on providing funding incentives to groups with common system requirements.
Provide funding to groups focussed on common operational harmonisation. This could include funding certain FAB activities but might be better focused on operational collaborations that are "like-minded" (eg. COOPANS).
Realising the concepts and technologies defined in the Pilot Common Project and the Deployment Programme requires a new approach, adapted to the needs of the future. Targeted funding could be the answer.
If you can, come along to see us on stand #333 at World ATM Congress in Madrid 7-9 March, and continue the discussion!
For more information please contact Mike Shorthose