Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Civil Aviation Bureau

Air Traffic Services

Revolution of air traffic services

Along with the increase in air transport demand, traffic congestion in the sky has been becoming more serious. This situation makes our continuous efforts for revolutionizing in order to ensure the safety of airways and increase their capacity as well as to construct airports.
1. Restructuring of airspace and airways
In order to cope with the increase in air traffic volume resulting from the re-expansion of Haneda Airport, national re-formation of the airspace and airways are indispensable in the following ways: 1) Implementation of Area Navigation (RNAV*) for each flight phase, 2) restructuring airspace in Metropolitan area.

In addition, the Air Traffic Management Center (ATM), instituted in 2005, assess the conditions of the use of training airspace for the US forces and the Self-Defense Forces in real time, and execute the flexible use of airspace to ensure smooth traffic flow.

 * RNAV: Area Navigation

 ∇RNAV Roadmap version.2

1) Restructuring of airways by adopting internationally standardized RNAV (In the beginning of 2007)
What is RNAV ?
  RNAV is a method in which aircraft equipped with FMC devices receive DME radio waves, GPS signals and other sensors to measure their own position, and fly on RNAV routes fixed beforehand through calculation processing.

RNAV routes will be located on three flight phases : the oceanic/en-route phase, the terminal phase, and the approach phase, according to type of aircraft operations.

Effects of the introduction of RNAV
  RNAV increases options (flexibility) for routes compared to conventional traffic control. Therefore the following effects can be expected : 1) shortening of routes, 2) reduction of noise, 3) increase in the number of routes, 4) less workload for controllers and pilots due to the reduction in route instructions during air traffic control, and 5) improvements in safety and efficiency.
Introduction and development of RNAV
  As of March 2007, Japan has a total of 60 RNAV routes in its airspace, a total of 8 RNAV routes (5 airports) in air terminals, and a total of 4 RNAV routes (4 airports) in approach phases.

These routes will be expanded, and near the end of fiscal 2010, VOR routes and RNAV routes will be operationally separated at 29,000ft, and RNAV routes will be developed in the Japanese airspace at 29,000ft and over under the "Sky Highway Plan".

2) Restructuring Airspace in Metropolitan Area
In order to handle increased traffic in metropolitan airspace and mitigate congestions, terminal area control at Tokyo airport and Narita airport will be integrated at Tokyo airport.
3) The Air Traffic Management Center (ATM Center)
JCAB ATM Center was established in 2005 on the basis of ICAO CNS/ATM systems concept for the future. This center works to promote air traffic safety and flight efficiency by integration of function of Airspace Management which is to use airspace efficiently, Air Traffic Flow Management which is to form smooth traffic flow by adjustment or other initiatives and Air Traffic Control services using new technologies.
2. Implementation of new air navigation systems
The Multifunctional Transport Satellites (MTSAT), which covers the Asia Pacific region, have been launched, and the operations start in addition to the provision of new communication service (AMSS) with wide area augmentation system for GPS (MSAS). Thus strengthened communications/navigation/surveillance functions will ensure safety, and reduce the separation minimum in oceanic airspace to increase the capacity.

Flights along optimum routes and at an optimum altitude will be achieved mainly for Pacific airways (international).

In addition to the operation of the air transport satellite system, the existing air navigation systems will become more advanced, and various new generation air traffic control systems will be implemented, including a new generation air traffic console system with control functions such as an arrival order in terminals, and an SSR Mode-S system with data link communication functions.

Multifunctional Transport Satellite
  1. Communications function :
    Direct communications between the controllers and pilots using satellite data links
  2. Navigation function :
    Global navigation using satellites
  3. Surveillance function :
    Surveillance Monitoring based on position data automatically transmitted by the aircraft