ENAIRE, the air navigation service provider (ANSP) for Spain, is launching a new air traffic system modernization plan in order to address air traffic growth in Spanish airspace. Under the new “Plan of Air Navigation,” the ANSP will invest $327 million in new ground- and space-based air transportation infrastructure.
Air traffic in Spain is expected to increase to 2.2 million flights per year by 2020, 300,000 more flights than 2016, according to current forecasts cited by ENAIRE during a presentation of the new plan this week. Investment between 2017 and 2020 will focus on achieving the following four air traffic modernization objectives:
• Evolution of the automated traffic control system with advanced solutions in harmony with the major European suppliers (iTEC project).
• Modernization of voice communication systems between controllers and pilots, incorporating land and applying new technologies that will respond to the requirements of the "One Heaven."
• Evolution of navigation and surveillance systems incorporating new radar of last-generation (Mode S) and satellite technologies (such as EGNOS and ADS-B).
• Deployment of a new air navigation data network of high performance for rapid information exchange.
Route fares will also be reduced by 11.5% between 2018 and 2020, which ENAIRE projects will save airlines $200 million by 2019. The Spanish ANSP is also evaluating the introduction of satellite-based data communications, based on the ongoing flight trials of IRIS, a project being lead by the European Space Agency and Inmarsat.