14:00, 25 minutes
Delivering future operations
The ATM business has a hard time keeping up with technological developments. Whilst the digital sky is upon us, we are sometimes constrained by outdated concepts that were introduced long ago for lack of alternatives. One example is that runway numbers are still determined by magnetic orientation, while emerging services can make use of far superior techniques. It seems illogical in a world of rockets, drones and satellites to still use magnetic compasses as the reference. A worldwide move has been initiated to use true headings instead in the near future. In preparation of this change, it should no longer be needed to repaint runway numbers just because the magnetic poles are moving. A case is made to suspend all runway number updates, resulting in huge cost savings. Several European airports are already strong supporters of this initiative and have proposed it to their regulators. Discussion at Airspace World 2023 is expected to help accelerate the international uptake of this movement.