Mobility of goods and people is a basic need of the European Society in the age of sustainable growth and globalisation of the World economy. The Vision 2020 describes Air Transport and Aeronautics as 'Key Assets for the Future of Europe'. It calls for an air transport system able to cope with a threefold air traffic demand with fivefold safety, halved cost, a 99% punctuality and limited environmental impact in 2020.
In a two-phase approach, EMMA consolidated the surveillance and conflict alert functions, and the successor project, EMMA2, focussed on advanced onboard guidance support to pilots and planning support to controllers. Due to the growth in air transport, airport capacity is expected to become the major bottleneck in the near future.
The EMMA project, together with the subsequent EMMA2, aimed to provide the most significant R&D contribution to the Vision 2020 goals in the field of A-SMGCS (Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System). This was done in a four-year timeframe (from 2004 to 2008), by maturing and validating the A-SMGCS concept as an integrated air-ground system, seamlessly embedded in the overall ATM system.
The main objective of EMMA was to enable the harmonised A-SMGCS implementation at European airports. For this reason, it was important to bring together users, service providers, research organisations and manufacturers.
The EMMA consortium was built from Air Navigation Service Providers, Airport Operators, Airline Operators, an Airframe Manufacturer, Avionics manufacturers, European ATM manufacturers and research establishments.
A main extension of the A-SMGCS concept by EMMA was the holistic, integrated air-ground approach that considers aircraft equipped with advanced systems for pilot assistance in a context where tower and apron controllers are supported by A-SMGCS ground systems. A mature technical and operational concept, as developed through EMMA, ensured consistency of traffic information given to controllers and pilots.
This formed the basis for a common situation awareness and safe ground operations. The associated operational concept defined the roles and tasks of the onboard and ground operators, and procedures from an overall, holistic point of view. The development of conflict detection and resolution not only increased safety but also efficiency.
Finally, the Integrated Project EMMA led to comprehensive results, which will support the regulation and standardisation bodies as well as the industry in early and efficient implementation of A-SMGCS in Europe and beyond.
Based on an advanced operational concept, a level 1 and 2 A-SMGCS was implemented at three European airports (Prague Ruzyne, Milan Malpensa and Toulouse-Blagnac) and will be in fully operational use for a relatively long time period.
The project followed an iterative development process with system maturing phases followed by functional and operational testing phases. Two test campaigns are planned. Licensed controllers, as well as aircraft pilots and ground vehicle drivers, were involved in testing in order to gain realistic, operation-focused results. Controllers and pilots were trained in a simulated environment and on-site to prepare them to cope with a level 1 or 2 A-SMGCS under real operational conditions.
The systems implemented were verified and validated against the predefined operational and technical requirements. On-site long-term trials at these test sites and at the busiest European hub in Paris are underway. The harmonised concepts of operations were applied and validated due to functional and operational testing under real operational conditions. In order to meet the mentioned objectives, EMMA built upon the previous work performed by EC projects, Eurocontrol and others.
The Integrated Project EMMA has led to comprehensive results that supported the regulation and standardisation bodies, as well as the industry, in the early and efficient implementation of A-SMGCS. Significant progress in maturation of technical equipment and on operational issues such as proper transponder operating procedure was made.
EMMA made a further step to promote the use of A-SMGCS in all weather conditions by proposing adapted procedures. Within the EMMA project, A-SMGCS test-bed systems were installed, verified and validated at three different airports, in several real time simulations and by on-board installations in simulation. In addition, long-term testing was carried out on the operational A-SMGCS at Paris-CDG airport.
The EMMA consortium specified a comprehensive A-SMGCS concept incorporating surveillance, control, routing and guidance services as well as new onboard-related A-SMGCS services. EMMA delivered recommendations for A-SMGCS implementation packages' that are tailored to the user’s needs. A-SMGCS Levels 1 & 2 were implemented and tested at Prague - Ruzyne, Toulouse - Blagnac and Milano - Malpensa. Even if measured results did not always reach the ICAO requirements, the three A-SMGCS implementations demonstrated operational benefits. The three A-SMGCS implementations have been used as baseline for the follow-up project, EMMA2, during which more advanced ASMGCS
features shall be added and validated. The specified concept supports the stepwise implementation of a complete A-SMGCS.
This concept for the higher levels of A-SMGCS has to be given careful consideration due to the changing of operational procedures, shifting responsibilities from human to equipment, necessary harmonisation between airports, appropriate qualification/certification of both ground control and onboard equipment, and latency of technical deployment on aircraft fleet.
EMMA and EMMA2 are important milestones towards a Europe-wide introduction of A-SMGCS in order to increase the safety, the throughput and the efficiency of airports in compliance with EUROCONTROL and in view of a worldwide ICAO standardisation. Both projects shall support the SESAR initiative by close cooperation during the definition phase.