Focal Point Column: Tomoko Nakagawa, JCAB

3 September 2013


Tomoko Nakagawa, JCAB

The Civil Aviation Bureau of Japan (JCAB) is a governmental agency in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The Air Navigation Services Department is the service provision branch of the JCAB and provides air navigation services within Fukuoka Flight Information Region (FIR). Our organisation provides a wide range of air navigation services such as ATS, CNS, AIS, flight procedures design, HF communication, flight inspection, visual aids, and aeronautical satellite operation. 

Fukuoka FIR, is the only FIR for which JCAB is responsible for providing the services. It consists of inland airspace and huge oceanic airspace, with an average of about 4,000 flights daily in 2012. Stable and efficient radar control service is provided in the whole inland airspace. ATFM enhances its effectiveness and has been in operation for more than 15 years. Looking at the oceanic airspace, flexible track system was introduced into the central Pacific airspace 30 years ago. JCAB, in collaboration with FAA, has recently implemented UPRs, DARP, and 30nm longitudinal/lateral separation minima to contribute to more efficient flights in the north and central Pacific airspace. 

JCAB is counted as one of the major ANSPs in the Asia and Pacific region because of its geographical location, not only controlling flights within Japan, between Japan-North America, Japan-Europe and Japan-Asia, but also between North America-Asia. Recognising our important role in the development of air traffic, JCAB developed a long-term vision, “Collaborative Actions for Renovation of Air Traffic Systems (CARATS)”, in 2010. This was based on the recognition that it would take a long time to realise transformational air navigation systems, and the overall strategy and planning must take account of future technological developments as well as future global direction. 

In transforming ATM operations, CARATS outlined the shift from traditional airspace-based ATM operation to strategic gate-to-gate trajectory-based ATM operation, aiming for 2025. 

CARATS defined specific numerical targets for the following items, taking into account the characteristics of air traffic, social situation, etc. in order to promote air navigation policies effectively, while verifying accomplishments of the objectives for the air navigation systems.

  1. Enhancing safety: increase safety level fivefold
  2. Responding to the increase in air traffic volume: double the air traffic control capacity in congested airspace
  3. Improving user convenience: improve service level (punctuality and reduction of flight time) by 10%
  4. Increasing operational efficiency: reduce fuel consumption per flight by 10%
  5. Improving productivity of ATM: improve productivity by 50% or more
  6. Responding to environmental issues: reduce CO2 emissions per flight by 10%

These targets were broken down into short-term and mid-term initiatives for operational improvements when developing a CARATS roadmap. In addition, efforts to harmonise CARATS initiatives with other visions such as ICAO GANP, FAA’s NextGen and EU’s SESAR have been discussed and coordinated. Although it will take a long time and be hard to accomplish, steady and continuous efforts to implement each initiative are crucial for overall success. 

I’d like to finish the introduction of JCAB by mentioning that CANSO’s customer focused approach, and striving for cost-effective and efficient services will stimulate us to find better solutions for better services. We look forward to contributing to CANSO activities as well. 

Tomoko Nakagawa, 
Air Traffic International Affairs Office, Air Navigation Services Department, JCAB 

Asia Pacific


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