LeadInSky and air traffic management

29 November 2021

LeadInSky depicts the latest generation of Leonardo air traffic management (ATM) systems. Already distributed and used worldwide, the system is deployed in the most complex operational scenarios. LeadInSky also meets the stringent requirements of reliability through the highest levels of redundancy, due to the integration of a wide range of products and innovative instruments.

LeadInSky is the latest significant milestone of Leonardo’s long-standing experience in the air traffic control and management market. The company has been operating in this sector for several decades and is present in 150 countries around the world with its ATM sensors and systems. To date, Leonardo has delivered over 1,000 primary and secondary radars, and more than 300 Air Traffic Control (ATC) centres, approach units and communication systems, making it a world leader in the civil aviation sector.

The civil aviation market is extremely complex, dynamic and competitive. Technologies and safety rules change quickly, making it necessary to supply or update systems, which meet the new requirements and at the same time are highly reliable, with just a few months’ notice.

ATC profitability depends directly on the air traffic volume it is able to manage. The greater the traffic volumes that the ATM system can guarantee – with no drawbacks on precision, reliability and speed – the greater the potential revenue.

Guaranteeing reliability and meeting new requirements are two of the key factors that allowed Leonardo to establish itself as a global leader in this sector, achieving remarkable results and boasting long-standing customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Asia. In addition, Leonardo is among the top providers in terms of operational continuity of ATM systems worldwide.

Other keys to the company’s success include offering a complete solution, featuring ground control, live analysis of aircraft routes and post-processing functions, in full compliance with the rules set by the Civil Aviation Authorities and the procedures of Air Navigation Service Providers.

LeadInSky is the result of the digitalisation of sensors and functions designed to increase the efficiency and safety of the ATM. The sensors comprise the Early-Warning Primary Radars tracking the aircraft at a distance of 200-250NM, the Approach Surveillance Radars (60-80 NM), the Secondary Surveillance Radars, Navigation Aid Systems (ILS, VOR, DME), the Multilateration (M-LAT) Systems, the Ground-Air-Ground Datalink Communications and the Weather Radars and Systems. The digitalisation process reduces the time ATM operators devote to monitoring all the observations, supporting informed and appropriate decisions. As an example, the automatic optimisation of trajectories calculation reduces the physical space between aircraft and optimises take-off and landing rates, while keeping very high safety levels.

In the Controller-to-Pilot communications domain, misunderstandings between cockpit and ground operators remain a significant challenge, due to linguistic issues and loss of communications (COMMLOSS). Leonardo – one of the first companies to offer data communication systems – is developing digital solutions to increase automatic messaging for primary and/or backup communications.

Leonardo is always committed to breakthrough innovation, and our approach to ATM is no exception. At the core of this innovation, is the evolution of the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) that plays an important role in improving the efficiency of the operators by introducing artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Thanks to its native open architecture, LeadInSky can integrate these innovative solutions through a spiral path that allows evolved standards and technologies – coming from investments in research and development – to be implemented, together with the new features requested by customers.

Furthermore, LeadInSky is designed to integrate the solutions validated by the ambitious Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme. This is the technological component of the European Single European Sky (SES) policy, which has been underway since 2004 and is co-funded by the European Union, Eurocontrol and industry, including Leonardo. SESAR aims to provide Europe with high-performance ATM systems in order to modernise the current systems with Horizon 2030, while offering significant advantages in different crucial sectors of civil aviation such as the environment, flight capacity, cost efficiency and safety.