A controller in the Malaga Airport tower (archive image). Ñito Salas
New Midas project takes off at Malaga Airport with capacity to handle even more flights
Air travel

New Midas project takes off at Malaga Airport with capacity to handle even more flights

It will allow landings from three air sectors, increasing the number of operations that can be carried out, while also offering fuel and emission-saving benefits for aircraft

Ignacio Lillo


Sunday, 5 November 2023

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The air traffic control tower of Malaga Airport is undergoing the largest operational transformation of the last decade. The project called Midas (Malaga Improved Design of Air Space) started on Thursday with a double objective of increasing capacity and reducing polluting emissions from aircraft.

Midas, which has been developed over seven years, is based on the latest technologies of satellite-based air navigation systems, on-board equipment for aircraft, sensors and signal augmentation systems, and among factors, technical sources from Enaire, the air traffic control operator, said. Until now, a system similar to this only operated in Barcelona and Ibiza.

Once fully operational, Midas will have three sectors, increasing the capacity to serve more flights every hour, as explained by air traffic controllers on their social media network X account. It will als allow pilots to achieve the optimum descent profiles and, consequently, reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

An Enaire spokesperson said that Midas uses the RNAV1 navigation system, which complies with European Regulation 2018/1048 whose application deadline is 2030.

“Midas, used by the Aman arrivals manager, provides assistance for the sequencing and management of aircraft, which facilitates the management and coordination of air traffic by air traffic controllers,” the Enaire spokesperson said. The separations between successive aircraft are more regular and the number of pilot-controller communications is fewer, and they are also shorter and simpler.

With the implementation of Midas, the approach to the Costa del Sol airport will be among the most modern in the world, with less emissions while improving the work of pilots and air traffic controllers through a greater standardisation of manoeuvres.

In 2014 Malagal Airport became the first in the world to use satellite navigation systems for landings, through the Ground Based Augmentation System, which improved the precision when taking land. To do this, it used satellite GPS signals in combination with airport data.

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