The study, which Helios won last month following a competitive tender, is expected to last 15 months with Corner (pictured right) saying it would be based around two scenarios.
“An ‘initial operational’ scenario will focus on increasing interoperability and delivering benefits in the short term by identifying opportunities for developing common standards, operational concepts and improving operational and technical interoperability,” he explained. “A second ‘target operational’ scenario will provide the GCC with a credible route to increasingly harmonised airspace, CNS/ATM infrastructure and potentially the shared delivery of air traffic services.”
The project is being aligned to ICAO’s Aviation System Block Upgrades initiative. “Importantly, it will also be developed in close co-operation with other national and regional projects, including MID region ATM Enhancement Programmes – MAEP, the MID ATS Route Network Optimisation Project and MID Region AIM Database to leverage additional benefits.”
The project, which is for the upper air space of the six Gulf Co-operation Council countries of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, has been described by the Chairman of the GCC Air Navigation Committee, Hasan Al Ghorabi as “currently the most important aviation projects for the GCC.”
He added: “We are confident that Helios’ local presence and knowledge, combined with its experience in undertaking similar assignments elsewhere in the world, will provide the necessary expertise to support our own dedicated task force with project delivery.”
The Chairman of the GCC UFIR Task Force, Eng. Ahmed Ali Al-Sayed of Bahrain said the ultimate goal would be gradual harmonisation but with an eye on short-term wins.
“The aim is to progressively harmonise how we deliver ATM across the GCC states, enhancing safety and expanding airspace capacity to accommodate the high traffic growth. We are also looking for opportunities to deliver early benefits.”
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