Boeing and the Bermuda Department of Airport Operations (DAO) have agreed to study the modernization of airspace and air traffic management in Bermuda. Engineers from Boeing Digital Aviation, a business unit of Commercial Aviation Services, will work with DAO to identify the steps required to develop a fully optimized air traffic management system for Bermuda, including an increase in the country’s ability to handle arriving and departing traffic. The announcement came during the first day of the World ATM Conference in Madrid.
“In teaming with Boeing Digital Aviation, Bermuda hopes to develop some of the most modern and efficient airspace in the world,” said Aaron Adderley, general manager of Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International Airport. “Aircraft operators, passengers and the public at large will all benefit from the efficiencies attained.”
The team will evaluate establishing an expanded air traffic control facility with responsibility for traffic operating within the terminal airspace centered around L. F. Wade International Airport. The study will also seek opportunities to accelerate the already fast pace Bermuda has taken in modernizing its air traffic management system by developing Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures for arriving and departing traffic.
PBN differs from traditional air navigation, whereby aircraft navigate between fixed, ground-based navigational aids or are given vectors (steered) by air traffic control. PBN uses the Global Navigation Satellite Systems to determine aircraft position very accurately, and specifies a minimum level of onboard navigational performance monitoring and alerting, thereby facilitating more precise lateral and horizontal routing and enabling aircraft to descend from altitude without intermediate level offs. In this way, PBN greatly reduces fuel consumption and noise emissions. All phases of flight operations stand to benefit from PBN implementation.
“Modernizing Bermuda’s air traffic management system will enable airlines and other operators to realize the full potential of their modern aircraft and will enhance operational safety and improve bottom line efficiencies,” said Neil Planzer, vice-president, Airspace Solutions for Boeing. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in Bermuda.”
The study is the first step in Bermuda’s plan to potentially develop its own Flight Information Region, which will lead to increased operational efficiencies for airplanes within the airspace encompassing the island of Bermuda.