| Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic presents itself|
There are not many Companies that have a name,
which concisely describes their main activity.
Everybody who has ever flown in an aircraft
above the territory of the Czech Republic has encountered the work of ANS CR employees, however, not everyone has
realised this fact. Comfortably seated in the seat of the passenger aircraft,
most passengers spend their time thinking about the destination of their
journey, wondering whether they have not left anything important behind back at
home, or what kind of a meal will the airline Company be serving. The pilots in
the cockpit of a passenger aircraft are in fact in constant contact with our
As far as pilots are concerned, the activity of
several hundred ANS CR employees cumulates into the voice of the radar air
traffic controller. Throughout its duration, he helps the pilots in performing
the flight in such a manner that, for the passengers, it becomes a pleasant
memory of peaceful, fast and comfortable travelling. Awareness of the fact,
that the track of the aircraft is being constantly followed on a radar screen
by the watchful eyes of a controller, is something that, to a great extent,
contributes to the peace of mind of every pilot even in the age of automated
systems and data transfer between ground and air. An air traffic controller
thus finds himself on the top of the imaginary pyramid of activities performed
by ANS CR employees. Every building block of this pyramid is important, for
each has its fixed place within the system of air navigation services.
traffic control is the final product. It may sound exaggerated, but even the
best radar controller will find himself helpless at the moment, when he does
not hear the voice of the pilot of the aircraft in his headphones.
The fact, that such a situation does not occur, is a result of the good work of
a whole group of experts from the ANS aeronautical telecomunications services.
Coping with a situation, when the radar screen goes blank under full operations
in overcrowded airspace, is something that every controller must regularly
practice on a simulator. The first-rate radar experts, technicians and computer
specialists, employed by our Company, safeguard against such a situation occurring
during actual operatons.
Employees of Air Navigation Services escort
most flights, figuratively speaking, from their very beginning. Planning,
communication and co-ordination with the supranational centre for European
airspace in Brussels is a ritual which is conditional for every flight. Among the
activities, which are a part of this ritual, is also the preparation of
pre-flight bulletins for flight crews, mostly departing from the Prague airport. Hundreds of
pieces of up-to-date data and operational information, arranged according to a
pre-set key, guide pilots from the point of take-off right up to the to the
destination airport. The voice of an air traffic controller is always the first
tangible contact a pilot has with our Company. Upon entering the airspace of
the CR, it is the voice of a controller from the Area Control Centre Prague
(ACC Prague), when departing from Prague or one of the Karlovy Vary, Ostrava or Brno
aerodromes, it is the voice of a controller on the aerodrome control tower.
The tinted windows of the aerodrome
control tower (TWR), which is usually the highest building on the aerodrome,
hide the air traffic control unit, which is responsible for traffic on the
manoeuvring area of the aerodrome and in the airspace of its vicinity. Clearance
to land is followed by take-off clearance, taxiing instructions are the impulse
for the pilot to increase motor revolutions and begin the first movement of the
aircraft on the way towards its given destination. When taxiing on the
manoeuvring area of the Prague-Ruzyně airport, every movement of the aircraft
is being closely monitored by surface movement radar. Take-off clearance has
been granted, the aircraft is picking up speed, its motors driving the metal
colossus along the concrete runway. A gentle swing and the aircraft is climbing
upwards into the sky.
Digits, indicating the altitude of the
aircraft, start changing rapidly on the radar screen of the controller in the
departure sector of the Approach Control Centre (APP Prague). Apart from these
data, the radar controller also sees the identification and speed of the
flight. The whole team of air traffic controllers at the approach control unit
is divided into individual control working stations according to the tasks
being performed there. The sector for arriving aircraft places aircraft, which
enter its airspace from various directions, into approach sequence. A different
control working station guides the aircraft, with the help of radar, onto the
extended centre line of the runway assigned for the landing of the aircraft.
The radar unit, which has the largest number of
working stations – sectors, is the Area Control Centre Prague. Six sectors,
which are flexibly activated in accordance with the density of air traffic in
the airspace of the CR, are supplemented by two additional back-up sectors,
designated for providing air traffic services in case of a further increase in
the volume of air traffic. The strategic location of the Czech Republic in
the heart of Europe, and the increased demand for services in this part of airspace,
indicate that their time is soon to come. The area control centre, in
comparison with an approach control centre, also provides services to flight,
which are only transiting the airspace of the CR.
Operating working stations are run by highly
qualified personnel and equipped with technology that corresponds to the
demands placed on air traffic services. The age of screwdrivers and vacuum
tubes has been replaced by an age of automated security systems, data networks,
and data transfer between ground units and the board of an aircraft. Flight
co-ordination by telephone has been replaced by automated data exchange, and
making decisions by the controller has been simplified by a whole scale of
useful functions of the main radar system.
On the one hand, modern radar systems provide
controllers with the comfort of a range of exact operating information on the
other hand this comfort has to be offset by providing these systems with
perfect technical maintenance, and by a high level of expertise of those
looking after them.
The high demands placed on the expertise of
operating and technical personnel are backed up by an elaborate system of
education, professional schooling and practical training. Regular refresher and
advanced training courses on a high-quality radar simulator make it possible to
not only maintain a high level of professionalism of personnel, but it also
makes it possible to practice new HMI functions and new operating procedures.
The methodology of providing air traffic
services is a subject, which is dealt with by a number of international rules
and recommendations. Experts from ANS CR are represented in many task groups
ICAO and EUROCONTROL. A high quality systematic expert work thus produces the basic
requirement for success in air traffic services as a whole.
Air traffic control is a basic presumption for
the existence or air transport. At the same time, it is a phenomenon, which
greatly influences the safety and efficiency of air transport. The everlasting
endeavour at minimising flight delays in their own airspace, while attaining a
high level of safety and reliability of the offered services, is the moving
spirit of all employees of the Company.
The quality of the rendered air traffic
services is a mirror reflection of the Company, which has its mission already
written in its name.
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