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Austria paving the way in air traffic control

By Maddy French

Austria has taken a step forward in the move to unify Europe's air traffic control systems by implementing the latest software from the Co-operation of Air Navigation Service providers (COOPANS).

The upgrade to the control systems in Vienna by navigation service provider Austro Control is part of a large project to 'harmonise' the European air traffic control systems.

Most of the 63 control centres on the continent have built different customised systems but a COOPANS alliance is working to bring consistency to air traffic control systems.

Dutch provider Naviair also upgraded their software in Copenhagen at the same time as the Austrian counterpart. The two providers are the first of seven in five European countries to improve their software so they can work using the same international standards.

Working as part of a COOPANS alliance, the seven centres, which includes control centres in Croatia, Sweden and Ireland are taking the lead to 'harmonising' air traffic control in Europe. The COOPANS partners expect to have all implemented the new system by 2014 and more partners are expected to join the alliance in the future.

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