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Successful introduction of iTEC V2 system in Lithuania marks another significant step in implementing the vision of iTEC alliance

April 1, 2021

On the 26th of February 2021 Lithuanian air navigation service provider state enterprise Oro Navigacija started providing services at the upper Lithuanian airspace using ATM system iTEC V2, which complies with the requirements established by Single European Sky ATM Research programme (SESAR). This system integrates the most up-to-date SESAR functionalities and technical solutions applied in air traffic management: initial ground-ground interoperability (or IOP), dynamic airspace management and etc.

This event is exceptional not only for the Lithuanian airspace management system and Oro Navigacija, ensuring the highest aviation safety and provided air navigation service efficiency standards, but also for the entire iTEC  alliance. The alliance involves 7 European air navigation service providers and industry partner Indra. The airspace handled by iTEC member ANSPs is considered the most intensive and complex in Europe. The system deployment is an important milestone towards implementation of the overall iTEC vision to optimize European ATM, enable airspace users to improve flight efficiency and decrease environmental footprint, thus making positive impact society in generally.

“For the airspace users this means increased airspace capacity, decreased delays and reduced consumption of fuel as well as significant safety benefits. It is important to remember that air navigation service providers make part of the ATM chain and all operational improvements made at ANSP level always aim at enabling other aviation chain stakeholders, in particular, airlines, to improve their performance. As a result, it is the passenger and the society in general to be the final beneficiaries of such improvements. Therefore, implementation of iTEC system is not only the big technical achievement, but also the way toward more efficient, safier and greener aviation. provide air navigation services in a more efficient manner. As  and, whereas the entire European society shall be guaranteed more efficient flight safety and regularity of air transportation, the amounts of exhaust CO2 and NOx shall be decreased”, claimed Redvita Četkauskienė, the acting Chief Executive Officer of state enterprise Oro Navigacija till August 1, 2021. 

According to R. Četkauskienė, this project is unique, because it was implemented during a crisis, in the course of COVID–19 pandemic. The global pandemic made a significant impact upon the whole aviation sector. European airlines, airports and air navigation service providers lost 56.2 billion EUR in total. The number of passengers transported by aircraft in 2020 was smaller by 1.7 billion, the number of executed flights decreased by 6.1 million or 55 percent on average in comparison to 2019. During the last year European air navigation service providers incurred losses amounting to 4.9 billion EUR.

Despite the challenges Oro Navigacija pursued the goal of ensuring the continuity of activity, high level of flight safety and efficiency of the provided services. Even if ON had to reconsider and reschedule many of its projects during the  pandemic, the ATM modernization project remained top priority and implementation process continued as planned. Hard work, tight cooperation among dedicated ON and Indra experts and unconditional spirit of following the common goal made are this project a success.

The implemented project provides exceptionally favourable preconditions for enhancing the international cooperation which is of strategic significance for the aviation sector: to cooperate with the iTEC partners more closely and on larger scope, anticipating further joint development of iTEC system and more efficient usage thereof also expanding the fields of cooperation. The project is part of common ATM development programme implemented by iTEC. The purpose of this programme is to use a unified technological base across the entire airspace that iTEC members control, namely, iTEC system for ATM and to apply a unified ATM operation concept, this way ensuring efficient organisation of the provided air navigation services. This project is part of the Single European Sky ATM Research programme SESAR, the ultimate goal of which is to implement a common concept of the European sky.

The implementation of iTEC system by Oro Navigacija also finalised a certain part of the joint project dedicated to Baltic Functional Airspace Block (Baltic FAB), which is created by Lithuania and Poland. The purpose of the project is to introduce a common ATM technological solution within Baltic FAB, based on unified air traffic management systems in Lithuania and Poland.

“We hope that the introduction of iTEC V2 system for ATM carried out by our Enterprise, along with other currently introduced and foreseen iTEC development and enhancement projects shall become the foundation for modernisation of both the Enterprise itself, but also of the entire European ATM system, allowing to achieve the goals of single European sky concept. The introduction of the new advanced iTEC system is another important step forward for the Enterprise in increasing the level of digitalisation of ATM field and promoting the concept of environmentally-friendly in the Lithuanian aviation sector”, highlighted R. Četkauskienė.

Aspiring for a long-term iTEC vision, members of iTEC alliance are already planning to develop unified iTEC V3 system together. The latter system shall implement the most up-to-date SESAR technological functionalities (interoperability, virtual centers, dynamic airspace management and etc.). The future product development will be based on data service provision (or data center) approach, ensuring smooth and real-time flight data exchange. iTEC, for all its members, is a solid platform for technological and human expertise and best practices. Cooperation, common effort and contribution are in the DNR of the alliance (iTEC stands for Interoperability Through European Collaboration) and it is clear that this approach will apply to all future solutions, with the final goal of modernising the European ATM system and making it more efficient.

 

About iTEC

iTEC (interoperability Through European Collaboration) is a next-generation air traffic management system developed by Indra in collaboration with air navigation service providers in Spain (ENAIRE), the UK (NATS), Germany (DFS), the Netherlands (LVNL), Norway (AVINOR), Poland (PANSA), and Lithuania (ORO NAVIGACIJA). It is currently deployed in the control centers of Karlsruhe, Germany and Preswick, Scotland. iTEC will be managing a third of the continent’s air traffic and this will mean significant savings in flight time, fuel and running costs.

 

About Oro Navigacija

State enterprise Oro Navigacija is a certified European air traffic service provider, which is the sole provider of air traffic control, communications, navigation and surveillance as well as air navigation information within the entire airspace of the Republic of Lithuania, also above the territorial waters and within the airspace of the Baltic Sea, which is part of Vilnius Flight Information Region. Air traffic controllers of the Enterprise, the number of which working at all the air traffic control centres, consequently their number in the entire country, merely reaches one hundred, constantly ensure the safety of the airspace within the area of their responsibility.

The enterprise also guarantees continuous activity of Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre, organisation and coordination of search and rescue works, in case of aircraft accident.