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Surface Traffic Alerts Improve Runway Safety

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VLD2-W2 STAIRS (Surface Traffic Alerts Improve Runway Safety)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2021-12-31

Airport surface safety with high energy collision on the runway and runway incursions is an important concern identified by aviation authorities worldwide without any significant improvement over the last decades. Runway incursions still endanger lives and incur high costs every year for the aviation industry. SESAR 2020 studies showed that most runway incursions could have been prevented. Lives could have been saved, aircraft damages and closed runways avoided. The solution lies in SESAR technologies that have now reached maturity level V3 and require demonstration and validation in a sizeable VLD. Since the worst runway collision accident in 1977 (Tenerife) many improvements have already been made on the ATC side, but no specific avionics safety system has been implemented to help prevent such high fatality risks.
The primary goal of this Very Large-scale Demonstration is to bring the existing Solution to the demonstration phase and significantly reduce the operational and business risks before deployment. The demonstration will target a very large number of commercial flights on many high, medium and low-density airports to demonstrate the system performance. This will be in partnership with European airlines and during business jet operations in line with identified key performance areas defined by the European Master Plan.
WP1: Management of the consortium, regular coordination activities within the project (monthly and ad-hoc meetings), reporting to SJU, delivery of contractual deliverables.
Main communication activity in 2021 was organization of operational workshop in Q4 2021. Remaining planned communication events were cancelled due to Covid.

In Nov 21 there was organized a workshop with pilots and operational experts in order to detect any difficulty / blocker prior to SURF-A/ITA certification, demonstration (VLD revenue flights) and deployment.
ADS-B and MLAT data was collected by DSNA in Toulouse airport and analysed by Eurocontrol within several batches.

WP3: WP3 has concentrated on activities related to prepare SURF-ITA of business aircraft architecture for product development with certification aspects.
• Bench demonstration and proof of concept on business aircraft test bench in Brno. Complete SURF-ITA architecture ported on the real HW of selected business aircraft.
• Certification preparation and concept meeting with EASA and FAA
• Analysis and mitigation of ADS-B traffic data eligibility with existing airport environment following PJ28 program activity – cooperation with Eurocontrol, Airbus and DSNA within WP2 activities (DSNA data collection and Eurocontrol comparison/analysis of MLAT and ADS-B data)
• Sensitivity study of SURF-ITA and TCAS simulations supporting above steps
• Complete assessment of the system KPIs, interoperability and ADS-B qualitative impacts of the real environment with specific ATC procedures using FAA (SC-186) In-service ADS-B data (7 years data collection from major US airports).

WP4: During the reporting period, there were following activities performed in WP4:

• Agreement between Airbus and ACSS on fast-time simulation methodology
• Milestones linked to TCAS development supporting Surf-A function
o PDR has been completed in August 2021
o CDR has been completed in October 2021
o Preparation of First prototype to be delivered to Airbus Mid March 2022
• Preparation of revenue flights:
o In progress. Eligible Airlines analysis performed. Next step is to contact the eligible Airlines.
o Contact with the Airlines for VLD planned by Q4 2022 with the objective of 30, 000 operations.
Results of the STAIRS project will contribute to achieving the expected level of safety during runway operations and also supporting airport traffic capacity and thus the ATM network’s overall performance.
The runway safety improvement will ultimately reduce the number of incidents/accidents impacting safety of passengers and crews, costs of damage to aircraft and negative revenue impact on the aircraft and airport operators.
Implementation of runway safety nets is expected to reinforce the confidence that EU citizens have in aviation. Runway accidents or near-miss collisions are highly broadcasted events, in traditional media as well as social networks.
Preventing accidents is the main purpose of Air Traffic Control and pilots, and any failure resulting in accidents will have social impact on the travelling public and, consequently, a negative economic impact on the industry.
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