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ISSUE April 2017

Can you tell us about Snowflake Software?

Snowflake Software is the award-winning provider of cloud and on-premise aviation data management solutions to ANSP and Airline customers. Our vision is to accelerate innovation in the Aviation industry by making the world’s aviation data accessible and easy to use.

We’re passionate about being a part of SWIM implementation and compliance throughout the industry, especially with the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrade framework coming into play in the next few years. We’re a fast growing business with offices in the UK and US and we will be opening an office in the Abu Dhabi, UAE (late 2017).

Tell us more about your product?

Our core product, the Laminar Data Platform, is the first commercial platform dedicated to managing flight, weather and aeronautical data to support real time operational applications. The end-to-end data management platform is dedicated to fusing, cleaning and organizing the world’s aviation data to unlock its full potential. Managing multiple data feeds in a single system makes it easier to build valuable, operational applications and achieve SWIM implementation.

What kind of work does Snowflake do for its customers?

Most recently Snowflake has been selected by the General Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE to develop the SWIM Gateway, which we’re extremely excited about. In other regions, we worked with NATS on the Cross Border Arrival Management (X-MAN) project for Heathrow airport, where we won the IHS Jane’s ATC Enabling Technology Award. As a result, X-MAN has managed to save over 4,700 tonnes of fuel and 35,000 tonnes of CO2, resulting in over $5 million in savings since 2014. We also won the IHS Jane’s ATC Award for Innovation in 2016 for our work with the IATA/Harris SkyFusion project where the Laminar Data Platform provides data fusion, transformation services, and generation of a Globally Unique Flight Identifier (GUFI) for data from multiple commercial and ANSP sources.

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Passenger traffic at DXB hits an all-time high of 8 million in January

Dubai International began the new year in top gear as monthly traffic in January reached an all-time high of 8 million passengers, according to the traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports today.

Passenger traffic rose 9.7 per cent to 8,037,008 in January 2017, up from 7,327,637 in the same month in 2016. This follows DXB’s performance in 2016 during which the airport welcomed a record 83.6 million passengers.

“It’s an auspicious start to what is sure to be another record-breaking year for DXB,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “It provides further impetus to our DXB Plus Programme, which will enhance service and boost capacity at DXB by applying technology to improved processes. It also fuels our ongoing efforts to improve the customer experience with world-leading wi-fi, retail, F&B and a wide array of offers ranging from spas to VIP service to live music.”

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Passenger traffic at DXB up 8.8 percent in February

Passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) continued to grow steadily in February rising 8.8 per cent to 6,948,157, according to the monthly traffic report issued by Dubai Airports today.

The operator said this brings the total year to date passenger traffic at DXB to 14,985,165, a robust growth of 9.3 per cent compared to 13,711,181 recorded during the first two months of 2016.

Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth (39.1 per cent), followed by Asia (23.8 per cent) and South America (11.6 per cent). India remained the top destination country in February with a total of 937,962 passengers, followed by the UK (516,611 passengers), Saudi Arabia (499,797) and Pakistan (351,477). London topped the list of destination cities with 309,768 passengers, followed by Doha (246,767 passengers), Bangkok (203,432) and Mumbai (194,108).

Flight movements at DXB totalled 32,483 during the month under review, a contraction of 2.7 per cent from 33,398 movements recorded in February 2016. Year to date flight movements totalled 69,075, a marginal drop of 0.2 per cent compared to 69,239 during the first two months last year.

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U.A.E’s GCAA Selects Snowflake Software’s Laminar Data Platform for Ground Breaking SWIM Gateway

It was announced today at the World ATM Congress in Madrid that Snowflake Software, a provider of cloud and on-premise software solutions for the aviation industry, is working with the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to pursue a vision of sharing consolidated and authoritative flight information across the United Arab Emirates Flight Information Region (FIR) and its neighbours.

Snowflake will deploy the Laminar Data Platform to manage flight data in compliance with the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) concept for the GCAA SWIM Gateway. Scheduled to be operational in 2018, the SWIM Gateway will receive, validate and publish the most up-to-date flight planning and strategic tactical flow management data, which will provide a platform for information exchange amongst all stakeholders in the region.

The SWIM Gateway will provide the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre with consolidated information for all planned and active flights in the UAE. Detailed information, such as estimated landing times and controlled take-off times will be made accessible to all stakeholders including airline operators and airports. Stakeholders will be able to receive high quality flight information in real-time through open interfaces with their decision making applications and to share information back, after the data is validated by the platform. As such, the SWIM Gateway will transform the collaborative decision making processes in the region.

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ICAO Council adopts new CO2 emissions standard for aircraft

The 36-State ICAO Council has adopted a new aircraft CO2 emissions standard which will reduce the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate.

Contained in a new Volume III to Annex 16 of the Chicago Convention (Environmental Protection), the aircraft CO2 emissions measure represents the world’s first global design certification standard governing CO2 emissions for any industry sector.

The Standard will apply to new aircraft type designs from 2020, and to aircraft type designs already in-production as of 2023. Those in-production aircraft which by 2028 do not meet the standard will no longer be able to be produced unless their designs are sufficiently modified.

“International civil aviation has once again taken pioneering action to address the impact of aviation CO2 emissions on the global climate,” stressed ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, “making air transport the first industry sector globally to adopt a CO2 emissions design certification standard. Alongside our 39th Assembly’s landmark agreement last October on the new Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), this latest development confirms our sector’s leadership and concrete actions toward ensuring a sustainable end environmentally responsible future for global civil aviation,” President Aliu added.

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Air transport sector growth presents significant opportunities for addressing global gender equality targets

Women’s participation in the aviation sector must improve in order ensure the sustainable management of global air traffic, remarked ICAO’s first female Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

“Our sector is very dynamic and technically challenging, but more importantly it is presently faced with rapidly expanding flight volumes and an aging workforce of pilots, air traffic controllers, maintenance specialists and other technical professionals,” Dr. Liu explained. “These factors combined create a significant number of opportunities for the many young girls and women globally seeking rewarding and lifelong professions in aviation.”

Noting that the UN theme for International Women’s Day in 2017 is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”, the Secretary General added that despite a great deal of progress, much work in this regard remains to be done.

“Only 3% of commercial pilots globally are women. Furthermore, the percentage of women serving as airline CEOs is currently fewer than 5%. When one considers how important leadership examples are as role models for future generations, it is especially vital that greater gender equality in aviation be pro-actively pursued and expedited by all stakeholders in the global aviation community. This is a responsibility shared between governments, industry partners and ICAO.”

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ICAO Secretary General accorded 2017 Leader of the Year Award

ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu stressed the need for continued progress on the sustainability of international aviation this past Saturday, as she accepted the 2017 Air Transport News (ATN) Leader of the Year Award during a special ceremony in Ekali, Greece.

“I am deeply honoured to be named ATN’s Leader of the Year, an accolade which I proudly accept in recognition of the great leadership role that the International Civil Aviation Organization has continued to uphold,” Dr. Liu declared. “I also accept it on behalf of the many officials of the Member States and international and regional organizations with whom I have the great privilege to collaborate as ICAO Secretary General, and also the many industry leaders and experts who play such an important part in our work.”

“This is an important moment in the history of our sector, with many challenges now confronting ICAO and the entire air transport community,” the Secretary General continued. “It is critical, therefore, that as we confront the prospects of dramatic air transport growth, our global community also continues on pace to refine aviation’s objectives for safety, security, efficiency, economic development and environmental performance.”

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Commission Recognises Five Projects Helping the Single Sky reach its Destination

Cutting airport management costs, increasing the number of flights that can land in low visibility, as well as safer management of aircraft movements, are just some of the benefits of the five projects that won this year's Single European Sky Awards. The winners were chosen among 36 applications and 35 countries around the world. The Commission set out to find the best projects that help modernise EU Air Traffic Management (ATM). ATM is a key milestone on the journey to reach the final destination: completing the Single European Sky.

The awards were delivered by Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, at the World Air Traffic Management Conference and Exhibition, in Madrid. She stated "all of the nominated projects are the result of innovative and fruitful collaboration and co-creation, involving over 90 companies and institutions. Whether they won or not, all projects submitted this year contribute to making our aviation system safer and more sustainable as well as globally competitive, while meeting the needs of our citizens."

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What do we know for sure about ATM? Partnerships are essential

Whether it’s tackling runway safety, passenger security, drone proliferation, a capacity crunch or the broader regulatory, social and commercial issues underlying Europe’s aviation ecosystem, there is one thing for sure… partnerships and cooperation are the way forward. This is the key message to come out of the SESAR sessions at the World ATM Congress (WAC).

“Today I think that "togetherness" is reflected in our work on the Single European Sky and approach to international cooperation. Sometimes the process of moving forward can be slow and frustrating and it might be tempting to go it alone. But we should remember that while alone we move faster, together we go further,” said Henrik Hololei, Director General of DG MOVE, who delivered the keynote at the opening session, ‘Setting the scene – partnering for ATM excellence in global aviation’.

In fact, ‘Partnering for excellence in global aviation’ is the theme for all activities taking place at the SESAR stand and theatre during the World ATM Congress. Activities are being hosted by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) and the SESAR Deployment Manager (SESAR DM) in collaboration with the European Commission, Network Manager, European Defence Agency, European Aviation Safety Agency and EUROCAE, the European leader in aviation industry standards.

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NATS and JANS strengthen relationship with formal agreement

NATS has strengthened its existing relationship with the Japan Air Navigation Service (JANS) with the signing of a Letter of Intent (LoI) at this year’s World ATM Congress in Madrid.

The agreement signals cooperation on an unprecedented scale and follows on from a previous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2014 and LoI in 2016, which focused on mutual areas of interest, particularly in the field of air traffic control.

The current LoI, signed on 8 March 2017, provides a more formal vehicle for both NATS and JANS to examine the efficiency and safety of Japan’s air navigation, with NATS providing services in areas identified and prioritised by JANS. The LoI also covers some of the air traffic control requirements necessary ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. This includes planning for the Tokyo Terminal Manoeuvring Area (TMA) amongst other technical requirements and draws on NATS’ unparalleled experience in managing the complex and congested airspace over the south east of the UK.

NATS and JANS have worked together successfully for several years, most recently participating in an ‘exchange program’ that saw each organisation’s Subject Matter Experts being embedded in the other’s for several weeks.

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Airport Show records significant interest from regional Airport Buyers

Massive investments by Middle East airports toward expansion continue to drive global aviation growth and attract global manufacturers and suppliers to explore tremendous business opportunities in aviation sector in the region.

Over $100 billion worth of airport projects, intended to address capacity gap, are underway and planned across the Middle East, according to a recent report from business intelligence service MEED. Airport passenger volumes in the region were 11 per cent higher than the capacity and new projects will create an addition capacity for 400 million passengers annually over the next 10 to 20 years, the report said. In 2016, Middle East airports posted the world's most robust growth, recording a 9.4 per cent increase in the number of passengers passing through the airports, according to Airports Council International (ACI).

As these investments toward airport projects create new business opportunities in the region, the Airport Show 2017 will bring buyers and global suppliers and manufacturers on a common platform to tap into these opportunities as well as facilitate business deals through its exclusive ‘Business Connect’ platform.

More than 200 buyers from 60 regional aviation authorities, seeking procurement at their doorstep for their expansions, are expected to join ‘Business Connect’, a unique matchmaking platform that provides unparalleled business opportunities through pre-scheduled meetings during the 3-day aviation event.

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Aviation Leaders From Over 130 Countries Participate in World ATM Congress 2017

The fifth annual World ATM Congress concluded Thursday, 9 March. As the world's largest air traffic management (ATM) exhibition, the Congress attracted a record-breaking 7,757 registrants and 230 exhibitors from 131 countries.

Íñigo de la Serna Hernáiz, Spain's Minister of Public Works and Transport, opened the three-day Congress and the keynote speakers were Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport and Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of IAG and Chair of the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The conference explored how best to 'create the right culture' to facilitate desired change resulting from new technologies, new entrants to airspace such as drones, competition, and pressure to improve performance. Several events took place, including the European Commission's Single European Sky Awards and the IHS Jane's ATC Awards.

Five theatres featured over 120 hours of education, including panel discussions, technical presentations, and product demonstrations and launches, from nearly 100 leading aviation professionals from industry, government, labour, and educational institutions.

"World ATM Congress continues to grow and expand its reach," said ATCA President and CEO Peter F. Dumont. "The event provides attendees with the inside information they need to safeguard the airspace, grow their businesses, and advance their careers. World ATM Congress brings together governments, industry, academia, and frontline users from across the world, all with the aim to enhance and improve the safety and efficiency of the global airspace. As the aviation industry continues to modernise, World ATM Congress has become fertile ground for the conversation and technologies that will shape aviation for years to come."

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Honeywell Auxiliary Power Units Now Standard on All Airbus A320s

Airbus has designated the Honeywell (NYSE: HON) 131-9A auxiliary power unit as standard equipment for its A320 family of aircraft — it is no longer just a selectable option for airlines. Honeywell’s auxiliary power unit is now recognized as the gold standard for the A320 family that provides significant fuel savings and demonstrated reliability.

“Reducing operating costs while offering customers the best air travel experience possible continues to be key for airlines,” said Brian Sill, president, Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace. “Together, Honeywell and Airbus are offering A320 series customers an APU with best-in-class operational efficiency enabling more efficient, safe and comfortable travel experience for airline passengers.”

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Harris Corporation to Provide Taiwan with Advanced Air Traffic Management Communication System

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) has been selected to supply a next-generation, VoIP communication system to support Taiwan’s military air defense system. The announcement was made during World ATM Congress being held March 7-9 at the IFEMA Feria de Madrid.

Harris will provide Taiwan with its IP-based Voice Communication System for the 21st Century (VCS21). The system modernizes the air defense system by delivering net-centric voice communications that reduce dependency on traditional point-to-point communications, while supporting an efficient transition to IP-based communications. It will be installed at multiple facilities throughout Taiwan and initially include 140 controller working positions that can access radio and telephony sites across the region.

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CAE expands to new facility in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

CAE today announced that its Defence and Security business unit has expanded its operations in the United Arab Emirates by moving to new facilities in Abu Dhabi.

The new offices were inaugurated yesterday during a visit from Ian Bell, CAE's Vice President and General Manager, Middle East/Asia-Pacific, and His Excellency Masud Husain, Ambassador of Canada to the UAE. CAE is now located in the Addax Tower on Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.

"I am pleased to see that CAE continues to see success in the UAE and is working to expand and invest further into the country, which a growing number of Canadian companies consider as their regional hub," said Husain, who was appointed Canada's Ambassador to the UAE last year.

The offices in Abu Dhabi will house staff from CAE and CAE Maritime Middle East LLC, CAE's local UAE-based company that is serving as the prime contractor and program management authority for defence programs in the UAE. CAE is currently under contract with the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the UAE Armed Forces to design and develop a comprehensive Naval Training Centre (NTC) for the UAE Navy as well as develop helicopter simulators for the UAE Joint Aviation Command.

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Virtual Centre Switzerland - a preview of the future of ATM

During the last few years skyguide has advanced with Switzerland's local single sky concept, the Virtual Centre Initiative. A Virtual Centre is the foundation for seamless, location-independent air traffic management. It allows groups of air traffic service units in different locations to operate from one single system.

Skyguide's Virtual Centre model is based on an up-to-date service-oriented architecture, which is built on open standards, complying with the System Wide Information management (SWIM) concept.

The Virtual Centre drives operational flexibility, business continuity and cost-effective technical evolution.

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DFS and Indra move forward in the implementation of the Single European Sky by introducing the next-generation technology for control of upper airspace

The German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung and global consulting and technology provider Indra have implemented the next-generation iTEC Centre Automation System (iCAS) in the Karlsruhe control centre for most of the upper airspace above Germany. System tests and the first live operations at night have been successfully completed. Full operational use of the system is planned between November 2017 and February 2018.

As part of a nationwide modernisation programme, iCAS will replace the VAFORIT system, currently in place for upper area control in Karlsruhe. This will be followed by the system’s introduction at the German control centres in Bremen, Munich and Langen for lower airspace. It will also be introduced at the Amsterdam centre of the Dutch ANSP LVNL, Germany’s system group partner.

iCAS offers a higher level of automation and allows for 4D capabilities, trajectory prediction, flight path conformance monitoring and complete interoperability between control centres in Europe.

Robert Schickling, COO of DFS, said: “The deployment of the iCAS system is a major step towards attaining the objectives set forth by the SESAR programme for the creation of a Single European Sky. With iCAS, we will be able to deliver higher service standards for the users of Europe's skies, we will have improved operational performance with increased capacity gains and cost-efficiency, and less environmental impact of flights. iCAS – the biggest investment and innovation programme at DFS – will replace the heterogeneous ATS systems that evolved over time at our control centres with one common system.”

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Searidge Introduces Aimee - Artificial Intelligence Platform for ATM

Searidge Technologies, global provider of Remote Tower and airport surface optimization solutions to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and airports today unveiled Aimee, an advanced neural network framework for development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions for Air Traffic Control and airport efficiency.

Searidge has been working with artificial intelligence for several years with its' vision processing/remote tower technology. Leveraging this experience into the development of Aimee and extending the platform to include new functional areas has laid the foundation for an exciting new era in ATM technology. Aimee has been developed to greatly simplify the configuration and training of neural networks with large and complex data sets; to allow the continuous evaluation and testing of output, and most importantly, to predict and certify performance within a safety critical context.

Aimee has four key functional areas: Computer Vision Processing (Remote/Digital Tower Video); Natural Language Processing (Controller-Pilot Radio Telephony); Flight Data/Surveillance Processing and Analysis; Weather Processing. Aimee allows ATC and airport stakeholders to leverage the deep learning in each of these functional areas to build robust and safe AI-powered applications.

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Technology and research partnership between Vienna Airport and FREQUENTIS

In 2016, over 23.4 million passengers utilised Vienna Airport. Efficient operational processes and exceptional reliability are essential to ensure passengers reach their destinations on time. In order to optimise these processes, Vienna Airport and Frequentis have entered into a three-year technology and research partnership, and are now working together to develop a video-based apron overview system. This smartVISION solution will incorporate the airport's existing IT infrastructure. The IT hardware and camera system will be provided by the airport, and the software to set up and manage the system will be supplied by Frequentis.

The goal is to use ‘stitching’ to piece together individual camera signals from ten cameras currently installed on the control tower. This will create a panoramic image, providing an overview of the entire apron at a single glance. Using pan/tilt/zoom cameras, it will be possible to obtain detailed images – for example of individual parking positions. It will also be possible to design more efficient working processes, thanks to a unified user interface displaying the panoramic image and associated information. Dynamic alarm fields and the integration of overlays and object tracking are also envisaged. These will help to enhance operational safety. Other features will be determined over the course of the research partnership. The system will be implemented in two stages, by the end of 2019 at the latest.

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Entry Point North opens a new academy in Madrid

On 1 March Entry Point North, one of the largest global ATS academies, opened its fifth training site in Europe, located in Madrid, Spain. The establishment of the Spanish training site is the newest outcome of its continuous global expansion with the aim to offer top quality training with local presence. Today Entry Point North offers training and services at its sites in Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Hungary, Spain as well as at client sites in many other European countries, China, Thailand and the Middle East region.

The newly established academy will primarily deliver Initial ATC training courses for Spanish students who will work for ENAIRE or any other air navigation service provider in Spain.

Modern classroom and simulator facilities are fully established for Tower, Approach and Area Control training. Basic ATC and all Rating courses will be offered based on Entry Point North’s well proven training philosophy and methodology in full compliance with Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/340. The training will be delivered by a team of professional international and Spanish instructors with a close support from the headquarters in Malmö.

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Czech Republic chooses SITAONAIR to deliver Prague’s ATC communications gateway

The Czech Republic’s air navigation service provider has appointed SITAONAIR to deliver a “communication gateway” to its capital’s airport.

SITAONAIR will support air-to-ground data link applications to Prague Airport through its Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) network. The ambition is to extend this capability out to other Czech airports in the future.

SITAONAIR’s communication gateway will provide a channel for Air Navigation Service of the Czech Republic (ANS CR) to send Digital Automatic Terminal Information Service (D-ATIS) and data link departure clearance (DCL) messages to aircraft.

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Hong Kong International Airport implements NAVCANatm technology

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is now using technology developed by NAV CANADA for its Air Traffic Services Data Management System (ATSDMS) to manage, integrate, and display real-time air traffic control (ATC) information.

CAD completed the implementation of the ATSDMS using NAVCANatm technology at its new ATC Centre and Tower in Hong Kong on November 14, 2016. Services provided by NAV CANADA include software development, system installation, operational and technical training, on-site and remote technical support, and hardware and software maintenance after system deployment through years of close collaborative work.

NAVCANinfo, the foundation for ATSDMS, manages and displays extensive operational data and safety-critical information to air traffic controllers in real-time. Information layouts, displays and notifications are customizable to meet the needs of each controller, helping to improve efficiency and enhance safety.

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Upcoming Events
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18/04/2017 - 18/04/2017
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20/04/2017 - 21/04/2017
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Air Traffic Control Towers Summit 2017
25/04/2017 - 28/04/2017

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15/05/2017 - 17/05/2017
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