Investments are made to ensure that assets supporting air traffic management services in the national territory are consistent with the objectives of technical, economic and performance requirements, and that they comply with quality and performance standards established at national and international levels. The prevailing burden of investments is represented by all the interventions concerning the operational technological infrastructures, as they directly affect the core business activities in terms of safety, efficiency and economy of air traffic management services. There is a three-year plan (with projections for the two years immediately following) of investments that is updated on an annual basis. The ENAV Group's investment policies are aimed at ensuring:
- the provision and continuity of service in accordance with the Operational Safety objectives that are the central element of ENAV's Mission and Vision;
- the evolution of the national ATM system, currently in operation towards the new common European platform, in line with the objectives of the SESAR programme;
- the increase of the capacity of the ATM service, expected in the medium/long term, by adapting the ATM technology infrastructure with reduced "gate-to-gate" costs, and increasing flight safety and reducing environmental impacts;
- the optimisation of proprietary assets;
On the basis of the development strategies, having as their primary objective the support of air traffic management services in the national territory, in 2017 the ENAV Group invested EUR 105 million in infrastructure (while the total investments amount to EUR 115.4 million) through implementation and maintenance projects of operational technological infrastructures, evolution of the ATM technology platform with new operational concepts, infrastructures, equipment and management information systems.
The general objective can be divided into the following projects:
- Upgrade and implementation of logistic and measurement tools calibration
- Upgrade of systems of airport weather conditions to the latest ICAO/WMO standards
- Implementation of CPDL Communications (Controller Pilot Data Link Communications) through the development of the Data Link
- Upgrades linked to the transit of military airports into ENAV
- Development of the new ATM platform (4Flight) and the new Flight Data Processing (Coflight)
- Construction of a new building at the Area Control Centre of Rome Ciampino
- Implementation of a windshear system at Palermo, for the detection of turbulence during the landing phase
- Completing the works for the new Academy of Forlì
With regard to the Coflight programme, the innovative platform for air traffic management, it is worth making a brief analysis. Focusing on the technological development of flight data processing systems, which is the heart of any air traffic management system, Coflight aims to improve flight cost efficiency, optimise the use of air space, and reduce the environmental impact of aviation. This new technology, designed to meet the objectives of the "Single European Sky" and the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme, is composed of various components and involves the implementation of a new flight route prediction system (Flight Data Processor – FDP), known as Coflight, developed in collaboration with the French service provider DSNA and through a leading industrial partnership involving two of the main companies in the sector at a world level: Leonardo and Thales. Coflight is a significant development both at operational and technological levels, ensuring more advanced handling and management of civil and military flights, providing highly sophisticated 4D flight data processing (calculated taking into account aircraft take-off weight, airline directives, the pilot’s intentions, real time use of traffic flow restriction data, and weather data both on the ground and in-flight). Recently, on the occasion of the Paris trade fair dedicated to the aeronautical world, Le Burget, ENAV, DSNA, Leonardo and Thales strengthened their collaboration in Coflight. The alliance is aimed at promoting the platform at the European level through a long-term assistance and maintenance contract.
The agreement, lasting six years, will cover all the activities of corrective and evolutionary maintenance of the system, such as studies, design, software development and associated services. This is a further significant step towards a technical and commercial collaboration to jointly promote an innovative approach to managing Coflight's evolution and to sharing costs with other providers of air navigation services.
The described projects arise, as always, from the central element that characterises the ENAV's mission and vision, namely that of "ensuring the provision and continuity of service in compliance with Operational Safety objectives".
That is why ENAV is, first and foremost, a company in the service of the community, because no "return on investment" takes priority over the return in terms of security.
The project called Centro Servizi Roma, is part of the business plan for the enhancement of proprietary assets. Its general objective is that of equipping the office structures and the structures dedicated to corporate security so that the building has the infrastructures, installations and technology that are adapted to current technological standards.
The specific targets aimed at the general objectives of the project involve: the construction of an infrastructure which meets the current requirements and regulatory constraints in terms of construction technology, electrical systems and air treatment installations. The ultimate aim, already partially achieved, is to create an infrastructure that is equipped with adequate spaces and systems to host the company structures for flight procedure planning, aeronautical data publishing, and corporate Security.
The Service Centre was completed with the sole exception of the conference rooms and is currently being used by the central functions' staff that were transferred there during 2017.