The Spanish ambition in The air navigation sector breaks the limits

Enaire

The Entire and Indra projects for innovation in the provision of satellite services for air navigation.

Ábalos pointed out that Startical is a pioneering initiative, perfectly aligned with the Recovery Plan and with the objectives of digital transformation and ecological transition.

Its objective is the creation and deployment of a network of more than 200 small satellites at low altitudes to improve air traffic management with a vision of global service throughout the planet.

Entire has more than 100 million euros from the Recovery Plan to invest in the modernization of air traffic control systems and Surveillance systems, Digital transformation, and Information and communications systems.

Madrid – The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos has indicated today that Startical, an Enaire and Indra project for innovation in the provision of satellite services for air navigation, constitutes a pioneering initiative and perfectly aligned with the Plan of Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience of the Government of Spain and with the objectives of digital transformation and ecological transition that must be met as a country.

The minister, in a ceremony held at the Ministry’s headquarters, has shown his satisfaction with the launch of Statical, whose constitution was approved by the Council of Ministers and whose objective is the creation and deployment of a network of more than 200 satellites from small size to low altitude to improve air traffic management with a vision of global service throughout the planet.

Ábalos has affirmed that Startical, in addition to being ambitious from a business and technological point of view and fitting in with the values ​​that are defended from Mitma, will involve the development of a satellite network that allows a more efficient, safer, less polluting air navigation and more ambitious in optimizing existing routes and exploring new ones. It is an action, he added, which is faithful to that new culture of safe, sustainable, and connected mobility that is being promoted by the Ministry.

The head of Mitma has highlighted that we are facing a new approach to air traffic control and management that is very bold and proactive regarding new challenges, as its development can provide Spain with technological solutions that allow preserving the control of strategic services for the general interest, security and sovereignty of airspace.

Added-value of innovation, entrepreneurship, and science

Ábalos, who has given heartfelt recognition to researchers, engineers, and people who dedicate their efforts to innovation and science, because the future of our country depends on their work, has highlighted the added value that innovation brings, entrepreneurship and science to a country.

In this sense, he has indicated that this recognition must be expressed in all possible areas, both in the General State Budgets, with increasingly ambitious items dedicated to science and R & D & I, and in the political sphere, with governments determined to bet on cutting-edge technological initiatives such as the one represented by Statical.

For the minister, this project is a lesson of hope linked to the value of talent, that of technological innovation as a commitment to the future and present for our country, and, specifically, to the value of public-private collaboration as a strategy and as a lever recovery and the political obligation of all administrations to promote collaboration between companies and support R & D & I and science in Spain.

Regarding the air navigation manager in Spain, Enaire, has affirmed that it has more than 100 million euros from the Recovery Plan to invest in the modernization of the air traffic control systems and the Surveillance systems, the Digital transformation, and Information and communication systems. Investments, all of them aimed at achieving the Single European Sky.

Statical, satellite innovation

Statical will be the first satellite platform for air navigation that includes, together with the aircraft position surveillance services (ADS-B), a VHF radio communication system between the controller and the pilot in accordance with aeronautical standards, which constitutes a differential factor compared to similar initiatives. It is, therefore, a pioneering project worldwide, offering surveillance and communications in an integrated way.

These new services will increase the safety, capacity, efficiency, and punctuality of flights with clear benefits for companies and passengers. In addition, this new technology will be applicable to other modes of transport.

The new surveillance services and voice and data communications in areas with low coverage will also favor the creation of new routes that will lower costs and reduce emissions. Specifically, the forecast is that Startical will reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere globally by at least 13 million tons per year in 2030.

Likewise, this greater reliability of the information and optimization of air navigation services will allow the decongestion of airspace in saturated areas, will facilitate the work of air traffic controllers and will result in more efficient, punctual, and even safer flights.

The Enaire and Indra project will be carried out in two phases. In its first implementation, from 2021 to 2023, the technical developments necessary to ensure the viability of the solution and the regulatory and market aspects will be addressed. If this first phase is successfully completed, according to the forecasts of both companies, in a second, which will take place between 2024 and 2027, the provision of these services on a global scale will be implemented, with the deployment of the entire constellation.

The maximum planned investment of the first phase amounts to 29.2 million euros in the three years as a whole, with a contribution from each partner of up to 9.95 million, which may be modulated according to the obtaining of European Next Generation funds. and Horizon / SESAR.

Statical will use small satellites, easier to manufacture and maintain than conventional ones, which will bring additional benefits. Based on the New Space concept, the renewal of the entire constellation every five years on average will allow for much more agile cycles of technological improvement and update than those of a traditional constellation, which can take fifteen years to renew.

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