Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), as one of the four member companies forming the North European Air Traffic Management Industry Group (NATMIG), has been awarded funding from the European Community and EUROCONTROL to participate in a research programme to streamline and modernise air traffic management in Europe. Northrop Grumman’s Norway-based air traffic management subsidiary, Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems, will receive contracts worth $18.7m (NOK 117m) from the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking programme for research and development aimed at making air traffic in European skies greener, safer and more efficient. The contract was awarded following an international competitive tender process.
The contract is due to be completed by 2016. « Airport density in Europe is high and European airspace is among the busiest in the world with the growth in flight movements expected to double by 2030, making air traffic control increasingly complex, » said Eldar Hauge, managing director of Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems in Norway. « We are fully committed to the modernisation of European air traffic management and, through our membership of NATMIG, we look forward to bringing to the SESAR programme our expertise and experience in area control centres, aircraft surface movement guidance and control, and satellite landing systems to help create a high-performance, fully integrated air traffic control infrastructure for Europe. » The SESAR Joint Undertaking programme was founded by the European Commission and EUROCONTROL and includes an additional 16 member organisations. SESAR manages the European Commission’s research funding in the air traffic management sector and will provide air-traffic controllers with intelligent information systems that will deliver aircraft to their destinations more rapidly, even more safely and in a more environmentally-friendly manner. Routes will be allocated that allow airspace capacity to be trebled and improve safety by a factor of 10, while reducing the environmental impact of each flight by 10 percent. SESAR will provide research, development and prototypes for area control centres, aircraft surface movement guidance and control systems, as well as satellite navigation systems ground based augmentation system (GBAS).
NATMIG was founded in 2007 by four of the leading air traffic management companies in northern Europe, Airtel of Ireland, Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems of Norway, Saab of Sweden and SINTEF of Norway, with the aim of creating a body that can participate in the pan-European public-private partnership SESAR. The four member companies are equal shareholders in NATMIG. NATMIG is one of the 16 members of SESAR programme, which will focus on the need for new, modern air traffic management systems that can ensure the safety and flexibility of air traffic over the next 30 years.