23 July 2007

Air Space Control Systems - A Manifesto for ATC.

For too long the ATC systems around the world have been looked on as unimportant and isolated parts of national government controlled infrastructure. This is no longer acceptable when the demand is soaring. To address this set of issues we are proposing a manifesto be adopted by ALL Stakeholders starting with the US ATC system and then using it as a model to work with other centralized systems.


· Safety is paramount for users and impact footprint stakeholders alike.
· The air is not free
· A new unit of AS – Air Space - needs to be determined and defined for usage. Current definitions are not adequate now that air is a scarce resource
· The Air Space is part of a total infrastructure system from Gate to Taxiway to Runway to Air and back down again.
· The Air Space has multiple stakeholders all of whom are entitled to a share of the use.
· Citizens have a right to clean unpolluted and correctly oxygenated air without paying for it.
· Recognizing that there are multiple users of Air Space some of whom are interconnected – some of whom are not
· Stakeholders are anyone who consumes Air Space irrespective of their reasons for usage.
1. Military users must be brought into the systems
2. Transient users must be part of the system (above a certain height – through, in or via certain heights.
3. The Eco-system including Birds and passage of natural phenomena E.G. from Spores to Volcanoes must be acknowledged.
· The Air Space bounded by certain traditional jurisdictions is a part of the infrastructure of more than just nations. It is inextricably linked with other areas of air in the same manner that the sea is comprised of water that moves in and out of jurisdictions.
· Economic usage of the Air Space scarce resource demands fair premium pricing should be paid for inefficient usage.
· Ineffective and inefficient usage can be on the ground as much as in the air.
· Use of Air Space as a revenue source for non-air space uses should be discontinued
· Harmonized usage based pricing should be the norm.
· Inefficient use or knowing abuse of the system (e.g. over-scheduling or deliberate substitution of less priority aircraft) should result in fines paid by the offender and compensation provided to affected parties
· It is better to charge for the future environmental damage (Pollution and Global Warming) rather than post fact payment. (as is the case of tobacco litigation).
· Protection from litigation through the creation of a fund to cover non-specific stakeholder damages (such as environmental damages) must be funded by the Insurance and the User communities.
· Pollution can be chemical, biological, noise or light. Medical and Psychological effects must also be considered.
· Some grandfather scheme must be in place for existing inefficient facilities. However a goal of reducing the impact footprint must apply by no later than 2012 for Stage A and 2020 for all areas to be compliant to a Stage B criteria.

Based on these principals we believe that the ACS – Air Control Systems - needs to replace current outdated and inadequately conceptualized ATC systems which only cover certain parts of the Air Space.


Efficient use of air resource means that a full economic price should be charged for the use of the air – irrespective of user type. Thus a private plane using airspace must pay an economic rate for the use of the air space as much as a passenger carrying plane or a military jet fighter. Specifically inter air space user communities can specify if they wish to allow cross subsidy of certain categories of air space usage however this should not come at the expense of inefficient use or price gouging.

Global Standards of ASC need to be set and delivered. Monitoring of this should be an interagency responsibility with the right to fine backward or inefficient users or ASC authorities who allow such efforts.

Private Enterprise based management systems for Air Space should be encouraged but ultimate ownership should be acknowledged as a public right just as Land Space.

Examples of issues:

1. The use of inefficient aircraft such as smaller regional jets in place of larger aircraft should be discouraged through pricing mechanisms. Today we have a situation where air traffic has increased by 14% in summer of 2007 while domestic capacity of ASMs has only increased at 2-3%. Thus an inefficient model has emerged of the use of smaller and less efficient aircraft.
2. Full responsibility for traffic rights should be applied to the seller of each Air Space user. For example if an airline A sells a seat on a regional or code share airline – yet it offers a lesser priority for routes then the compensation must be made to the whole stakeholder community.
3. Air Space units must recognize distance as well as access. For example the access to the skies at particular FL (Flight Levels) should be recognized to prevent inefficient use by say high flying business jets operating at Commercial Airliner FL.
4. Carbon Trading Schemes should be encouraged but with limits to prevent abuse. Remember the issue is a “Global Problem” not a localized one.

A global stakeholder effort is required to address the overall issues

We believe that the effort to work on this starts now. We believe that the global expansion of aviation based system users needs to be thoroughly examined. Principals should then be enacted at the highest inter-government level and implemented by 2015 for Stage A. We believe we should use an accelerated adoption method similar to the recent global warming manifesto principals.

Time line:

We believe that a definitive timeline should be put in place for all countries to adopt the manifesto and enact appropriate legislation.

Development of principals and detailed white papers on Air usage and ACS in particular – Delivery 2008 End for ratification by the UN
Detailed local ratification by top 50 air using countries – Delivery end of 2010.
Detailed ratification by all countries of principals and enacted legislation 2012
Stage A achievement 2015 – carbon neutral and consolidated global coverage
Stage B achievement 2020 – carbon reduction 1-2% per year unified global services.

As a kick start to this effort T2Impact will deploy resources to any duly authorized entity who can facilitate the changes outlined here.


Timothy J O'Neil-Dunne

Managing Partner - T2Impact Ltd
Global Travel eBusiness
Tel (US) +1 425 836 4770
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