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The National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the Electronic Navigation Research Institute (ENRI) are researching a new aircraft operations concept, named NOCTARN, based on adaptable three-dimensional flight trajectories shared between aircraft and air traffic control (ATC). This operational concept aims to reduce the impact of noise while maintaining flight safety and enhancing operational efficiency. At the initial stage of the program, the research focuses on regional airports and small aircraft including helicopters. The program includes the development of an air traffic management system using digital data links, and onboard navigation and guidance systems as well as an ATC console. A flight demonstration involving multiple aircraft and an air traffic controller is planned at the final stage of the project in 2004.