Groundbreaking Ceremony for Ground Traffic Control of the Future

Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Flughafen Hamburg GmbH (Hamburg Airport), Dieter Kaden, CEO of DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (German Air Traffic Services) and Kurt Klein, Interim Director of the Institute for Flight Guidance at the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt e.V. (German Aerospace Center or DLR), today turned the first soil to officially begin the laying of the cable route necessary for the expansion of the A-SMGCS.

The A-SMGCS is expected to enter operation at Hamburg Airport in summer 2009. Before the system can go live, 16 kilometres of cabling, 23 antennas and a second ground radar have to be installed.

With the additional field test platform, FHG, DLR and DFS are leaving the way open to expand the A-SMGCS (Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System) with additional functionality in the future. A cooperation agreement between Hamburg Airport, DLR and DFS has already been put in place. The aim of the field test platform is to develop the operational A-SMCGS beyond simply supporting traffic controllers to also support pilots and vehicle operators. This aims to optimise ground traffic management in poor visibility and maintain the high security standard as traffic levels increase. By optimising ground traffic and minimising aircraft idling times, fuel consumption, air pollution and noise emissions are all reduced. This is good for the environment and saves money.

Universities and the aviation industry are also involved in the project alongside the three partners Hamburg Airport, DLR and DFS. This ensures that the ground traffic control system of the future is built on competence and efficiency in both research and practical implementation. Already, research projects (e.g. CARMA Car Management on Aprons and WFF Wettbewerbsfähige Flughäfen – “Competitive Airport”) have been launched. These projects will make intensive use of the research platform. The latest research results can thus be immediately tested in a real operating environment.

The close cooperation between research, teaching, operations and industry at Hamburg Airport creates an environment that promotes accelerated innovation processes and contributes to Hamburg’s leading position as a centre of aviation. The cooperation between Hamburg Airport, Air Safety and DLR is an impressive demonstration of the functionality and performance of the combined aviation competencies in Hamburg. Following on from the establishment of the Institute of Air Transport Concepts and Technology Valuation at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg in 2007, this new project sees DLR further expanding its activities in Hamburg.