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Patrolling the skies

Patrolling the skies

01/05/2011 | Channel: Technology, Aerospace

Operating air traffic services across Sweden, LFV is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of safety and security

LFV is a public enterprise that operates air navigation services for civil and military customers in over 40 locations across Sweden. Employing 1350 people, LFV’s head office is based in Norrköping and the company boasts sales of over 220 million euros per annum. The company operates 35 air navigation towers, navigation centres in Stockholm and Malmö and, as one of the leading players in the navigation service sector, LFV’s safe solutions and cost-effective navigation programmes have been recognised throughout Europe. In the area of environmental protection, it is at the forefront of plans to minimise the industry’s negative impact of the planet.

Together with airlines and airports, the company continues to ensure that aviation plays a massively important role in society, providing rapid transport services for various industries and satisfying the public’s demand for travel. With more than 655,000 flights over Swedish airspace each year, the country’s aviation industry has adopted a high level of safety awareness and systematic work is being undertaken to prevent all conceivable risks, creating a safety culture that is reflected in all of LFV’s daily activities.

LFV’s control of the air traffic that operates in Swedish airspace contributes to a safe, efficient and environmentally sound traffic flow. The company’s highly trained air traffic controllers ensure that aircraft do not collide with each other or any other obstacle in the air or on the ground. Safety is the company’s utmost priority and is guided by its own safety policy, something that is continuously being developed to identify and prevent all conceivable risks and is continually improved upon as traffic flows increase.

The policy states that safety must always be at the highest possible level and the company’s safety management is aimed at identifying the risks involved in air traffic control and reducing them to as low a level as possible. This management system is integrated throughout the entire operation, closely following international laws, regulations and best practices.

LFV also carries out aviation security work to prevent and impede illegal actions aimed at its operations or personnel. Employing active, professional and responsible people and equipping them with state-of-the-art technology, LFV is well positioned to deal with such threats and attacks that attempt to damage its brand.

With the Earth’s climate changing at a rapid pace and median temperatures rising as a consequence of human involvement, the greenhouse effect has made it necessary for companies like LFV and others in the aviation world to the reduce their emissions. This has resulted in environmental and sustainability issues coming to the forefront of LFV’s agenda. The latest United Nations climate panel figures show that the aviation industry accounts for between two and three per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and therefore LFV’s goal is to contribute to reducing the environmental impact of its activities.

In 2007 LFV started the Green Flights project, an initiative to gather and co-ordinate environmental measures that would ensure a sustainable reduction of noise and emissions within Swedish airspace. Airports and airlines, both with a major role to play in reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint, are represented in various joint sub-projects with Green Flights. The goal of the project is to introduce methodology, procedures and system support in the departure and approach phases as well as on non-stops before 2012, to support LFV’s overarching environmental goals. These are to offer eight out of ten flights to airports where LFV provide air traffic services green approach by 2012 and to offer the same proportion of flights within Swedish airspace direct routes by the same deadline date.

LFV’s vision to be one of the leading players in air navigation services, with a specific focus on Northern Europe, means the company has had to look at co-operating with companies in other countries in ways that have never been done before, particularly as air traffic is expected to double rapidly over the next ten years. Central to the aviation industry’s plans is the formation of a common European airspace. An EU initiative that LFV is a member of is the Single European Sky project and this is based on the formalising of airspace in a more efficient way than the current prevailing principle of governing national boundaries. An important step in the development of this idea is the establishing of functional blocks of airspace. This would maximise functionality and efficiency and currently there is a collaboration on the block of airspace that includes Swedish and Danish airspace. With Europe’s airspace already one of the busiest in the world, it is a strongly shared opinion that the current air traffic system needs to be better equipped to manage the estimated increased in traffic.

Among the other bright spots within the aviation industry that LFV highlights as positive indicators of future growth include the more optimistic financial outlook, the increase in flights, new routes and overall demand and the evidence that airliners’ profit margins are returning to their pre-2008 levels. The future also provides the backdrop for LFV to meet a number of challenges head-on. The company aims to create cost advantages through international co-operation, ensure sufficient air traffic controller resources are always available, to secure contracts for air navigation outside of Sweden and certify the operational use of remote-controller towers.

The long-term goals of the company are to continue being a prominent player in European air navigation services, being at the leading edge of technology, focusing on developments for the future and remaining a safe, economical and environmentally aware supplier of air services. LFV sees aviation as the hub of the global contact network, allowing people to meet and cultures to co-operate and the positive work of the company makes it an important part of the global transport sector.

Employees 1350
Services Air traffic controllers