At some point Boeing will probably sign a memorandum of understanding with China regarding ATM, Planzer says. “But we want to do something substantive with that,”
In addition to the ATM classes, Boeing also has launched a research initiative through the Boeing-Comac Technology Center in China, in conjunction with the Civil Aviation University of China. The aim is to forecast the 30-year capacity of China’s airspace system, develop evaluation tools to predict trends, and provide recommendations for improvements.
The Boeing-Comac center also will work with the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics on the development of an air traffic decision support system to optimize in-bound traffic flows at airports. This will help controllers determine the most efficient arrival sequences, says Boeing.
Planzer stresses that Boeing’s primary motive in China regarding ATM is not to win contracts. Rather, it wants to ensure that the country has “an ATM system that can expand to handle the volume of [projected] traffic that will allow us to deliver the aircraft they have on back order.”
Boeing will not be attempting to sell China ATM technology, or bidding to overhaul its ATM system. The areas where the company can most help is with “processes and procedures in the airspace they have, and in the airspace they anticipate,” says Planzer.
Boeing can take the “aggregate view,” such as assessing the effect that increasing traffic at one airport will have on others in the system.
Chinese officials “seem to be indicating to us that they would like to [work] with us” on these issues, says Planzer. Boeing recently has increased its ATM presence in China in preparation for an expanding role.
As well as the big-picture initiatives, Boeing also works on smaller support projects involving the aircraft it sells. One example is the development of required navigation performance (RNP) procedures at Wuyishan Airport for Boeing 737s operated by Xiamen Airlines, in conjunction with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen.