How many times have you been to an airport and wondered about all that is required to get the millions of people to where they need to go each year? Everyone probably knows the job of a flight attendant, but who else is there without whom we would never get to a holiday abroad?
They prepare the flight plan. This includes destinations, stopovers, distances, expected fuel consumption, weather forecasts, corridor usage, cruising altitudes and alternate airports in case of in-flight problems. People often confuse them with air traffic controllers.
At first glance, you might think that the check-in agent just takes your luggage, weighs it, sends it to the sorting room and prints out your boarding pass. That’s not all, though. The check-in agent has to be familiar with check-in systems, a large number of abbreviations and many security regulations.
They sit in the control tower and oversee the airspace. They watch on screens where the airplanes are and where they’re heading. They provide information and issue commands to pilots. For communication they have also been using the Datalink communication system developed by CS SOFT for the past few years. They use the communication system to deliver some instructions to the cockpits of aircraft in the form of data messages.
Before take-off and in flight, the pilot must check countless indicators while communicating with air traffic control. In large airliners, all this activity is shared by two pilots (and in some planes also other crew members such as navigators and flight engineers). Today, air transport uses modern systems capable of ensuring an automatic and safe flight of the aircraft.
Humanity is already in control of almost everything. However, the weather is still inherently unpredictable and flight planning is subject to it. Information on the weather, nowcasting and forecasting are therefore crucial for pilots. It is the aviation meteorologists who have the final
say in a flight.
Airport operations rely on countless software systems. Not only on systems for communication and airspace control, but also on, for example, work management and financial programs. When a bug in one of these systems accidentally occurs, a technician must set to work. The technician has to deal with such a problem immediately.
They repair and perform maintenance on aircraft in accordance with safety regulations, with the maintenance manual and operation regulations. They test and adjust aircraft assembly components according to technical documentation. They must also record technical data on the process and results of the inspection carried out.
It wouldn’t be possible without the staff of the technology and planning department. It is these people who write technical documents for aircraft maintenance, prepare operational reliability analyses and propose measures to improve safety.
They check not only the contents of hand luggage and pockets, but also the interior of the aircraft before take-off. Anything that could compromise the safety of the flight must be removed. Security officers also deal with forgotten luggage and monitor unusual behaviour in the airport area.
The American film The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks, is an apt depiction of how the airport terminal is a world unto itself. Of all the possible places at an airport, this one is the busiest. And no wonder. Every passenger has to go through a series of procedures before taking off. They take place in these hubs.
Check-in and check-out at departures and arrivals is currently carried out under strict hygiene conditions to protect passengers’ health and ensure their safety.
parking area for aircraft at the terminal building
for taking off, landing and taxiing
this is where all the equipment is safely stored
flawless technology and communication
it's not just the aircraft that need fuel
safety at an airport is crucial
If you say “airport” people automatically think of grand airport terminals. Or of airplanes. Besides these winged giants there are plenty of other vehicles and in every type of airport building there are complex technologies and systems.
There are radars of all kinds. Primary radar is a classic technology – a beam is first emitted and then reflected from objects in the air, providing information about an aircraft's direction, distance, speed and altitude. Secondary radars pick up the signal from so-called transponders, which are devices directly on board the aircraft. Thanks to this technology, each plane in the air can be precisely identified. In the Czech Republic, radars are developed and manufactured, for example, by the Pardubice-based company ELDIS of the CSG AEROSPACE division.
In order for air traffic control to run efficiently and, above all, safely, several software systems are needed. Two Czech companies, CS SOFT and ATRAK, are programming these systems for the Czech State Enterprise Air Traffic Control. In addition, all data, including the radar situation or voice communication of controllers and pilots, must be stored for a long time. This is done by the ReDat recording system supplied by the Pardubice company RETIA.
For air traffic control operators, ReDat is similar to the black boxes that airliners have on board. Unlike them, ReDat also has an analytical part.
The main task of an aircraft is to transport passengers or cargo safely from A to B. There are many other activities going on in the background, though. After landing, the aircraft needs to be directed to the right place at the airport. Passengers need to disembark at a specific terminal. And cargo has to go to a designated warehouse. The system of organisation of everything that happens at the airport and in the air is internationally known as ATM (Air Traffic Management).
ATM software systems are mostly provided by huge multinational IT corporations. CS SOFT and ATRAK are small in comparison, but they are equal in terms of how advanced their software is.
Thanks to the complex ATC (Air Traffic Control) software, controllers issue instructions to pilots and provide them with information about the situation in the air and at the airport. ATC systems are the invisible brains of air traffic. CS SOFT and ATRAK work also in the field of their development and installation. Apart from foreign operators, these systems are also used by Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic.
The sky above the Czech Republic is also monitored by army air defence system radars. The system also includes radars manufactured by Czech RETIA, which is also a member of CSG AEROSPACE.
Safety at airports is also ensured by anti-drone systems. Among the most sophisticated ones is ANDROMEDA, which consists of several integrated high-tech subsystems. It was designed and integrated by URC Systems in cooperation with RETIA from the town of Pardubice.
Detection of the drone
confirmation of the target
by optical sensors
in the control centre
by a jammer
For a plane to land and take off safely, it needs a perfectly clean and maintained runway. Even in the harshest conditions, special sturdy vehicles ensure its maintenance. In the Czech Republic, many of them are built on the legendary Czech Tatra chassis. Tatra trucks play another important role as fuel tankers, firefighting vehicles and aircraft tractors.
Only an excellent company with first-class experts can produce functional technologies and put them together. CSG AEROSPACE is one of the few companies in the world that can deliver turnkey airports as an investment unit.
leaders in their field
providing comprehensive solutions
a leader in the Czech
and Slovak Republics