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HungaroControl puts in place advanced air traffic control software

HungaroControl has installed its cutting edge air traffic information system, the upgraded MATIAS Build 9 software in its new control centre called ANS III, which will be delivered in early 2013.

HungaroControl introduced its proprietary MATIAS (Magyar Automated and Integrated Air Traffic System) system back in 2004 and the system has been enhanced by more than 200 new developments through continuous innovation since its commissioning partly on the basis of operational experience and partly as a response to challenges originating from international requirements, changes in the operating environment and the growth of air traffic. The software of the Hungarian air navigation service provider draws hundreds of 4D profiles on the basis of flight plans and it seeks for potential conflicts among them, 20-25 minutes in advance. Based on real radar data it carries out short term conflict search and re-evaluates the entire air space situation once every 5 seconds.

Even the earlier version of the MATIAS software was an outstanding product: it was the first software in the world to be capable of processing in a complex way and displaying to the air traffic controllers the data downloaded from aircraft onboard computers, (Mode S technology). This technology makes it possible for air traffic controllers to see the same parameters and settings on their own monitors as are seen by pilots on their own dashboards (e.g. data on flight height, speed, direction, ascending, descending). The joint development of HungaroControl and Thales Air Systems earned overwhelming international recognition, some of its elements have been adopted or are planned to be introduced by other air navigation service providers as well.

Instead of the earlier so-called SSR code the renewed MATIAS system uses radio call signals transmitted from the aeroplanes for the identification of the individual aircraft and for coordinating spatial position and the prescribed flight plan. The new call signal based identification scheme will have to be introduced in the whole of the Continent by 2020 but HungaroControl has already introduced the new method, the first service provider to do so in Central and Eastern Europe. Another new feature is that on the basis of the current position and updated flight plan of each aircraft the system will be capable of displaying the data relating to the remaining flight distance (distance to go information). Moreover, the further developed version of MATIAS uses the newly required flight plan format.

HungaroControl continues to develop the MATIAS system even after moving in the ANS III building. The system will be running on a new up-to-date hardware platform which will enable further enhancements, such as direct data connection between the software complex and aircraft onboard systems, which will be a mandatory and crucial step of development in the near future, as a flight safety and controlling capacity increasing factor, and as a response to the challenges of growing traffic.

ANS III, an up-to-date air navigation centre of the highest international standards, will take control of the Hungarian air space from the beginning of 2013. The parallel test operation of the existing and the new centre was launched on 19 November 2012. During the test period the Hungarian technicians and experts can give a try to the latest developments of the MATIAS system even in live operation.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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