The municipal officials responsible for spatial planning lack insights into how air traffic controllers operate and reason during the course of carrying out their duties. The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) recently hosted a workshop on Air Traffic Management aimed at providing these officials with greater insights.
Officials from municipalities situated near airports often ask why aircraft cannot fly around residential areas instead of over them. To help provide answers to such questions, NLR, the Airport Regions Conference (ARC) and EUROCONTROL jointly hosted a workshop entitled Air Traffic Management (ATM) and spatial planning interdependencies. The workshops’ goal was to give policymakers greater insights into ATM and flight procedures, with a specific focus on aircraft noise disturbance.
Air traffic controllers must adhere to extremely safe flight procedures. If one flight route is diverted, this has consequences for other air traffic. During this workshop, the working processes of air traffic controllers were thoroughly explained. How are flight routes designed and why? In order to gain a clearer understanding of how air traffic controllers and pilots operate, the various municipal officials flew aircraft in a Continuous Descent Approach in the GRACE flight simulator. A Continuous Descent Approach is a gliding approach to landing, the engines idling as the aircraft maintains a constant-angle descent, which reduces the noise disturbances experienced by local residents on the ground. In addition, the workshop participants also controlled the air traffic at Rotterdam Airport in NLR’s air traffic control tower simulator, NARSIM.
Attending this workshop were officials from municipalities located around airports in the Netherlands (province of North Holland and Haarlemmermeer municipality), as well as those from abroad (Flanders, Frankfurt, Vienna, Dublin, Helsinki, London, Goteborg and Warsaw). Â The workshop revealed that ATM and the municipal officials responsible for spatial planning must consult more frequently with one another, in order to ensure greater understanding exists between both parties.