17 Mei 2010
Display of the AAATS (allphotos : permian)
Australia to Merge Air Traffic Control
CANBERRA, Australia, May 14 (UPI) -- Australia will upgrade its air traffic management systems after civilian and military authorities agreed to jointly operate a national setup.
A statement from the Ministry of Defense said that by purchasing and developing compatible equipment and technology the Australian air force "and Airservices Australia will provide better value for money and potentially save taxpayers millions of dollars."
The strategy also is to "reduce overlaps, increase cooperation, improve communication between civil and military air traffic control and deliver better training of air traffic controllers."
Airservices is a government-owned corporation providing civilian air traffic control management and related air side services to the aviation industry. The 900 air traffic controllers work out of 26 towers around the country handling air traffic operations for around 63 million passengers on more than 4 million domestic and international flights each year.
Airservices also manages upper-level airspace -- more than 30,000 feet -- under contract to the neighboring Pacific Island Flight Information Regions of the Solomon Islands and Nauru.
The Australian aviation industry relies on Airservices Australia for aeronautical data, telecommunications, navigation services and aviation rescue and fire fighting services.
The agreement is part of the government's Aviation White Paper strategy document published in December.
"Both the (air force) and Airservices will be undergoing major equipment upgrades and replacement over the next five to seven years," the Defense Ministry statement said.
Equipment and technology to be purchased jointly is "to replace aging and separate air traffic management infrastructure and systems in both organizations." Included will be general and tower automation systems, radar and navigational aid equipment as well as training and simulation systems.
The statement said the air force and Airservices will approach the international market with a request-for-information to establish what technologies and resources are available, but the ministry gave no timeline for the procurement process.
Australia's military uses Australian Defense Air Traffic System hardware and software developed by Raytheon. It doesn't control aircraft but gives the user a display of information about an aircraft's position and associated information. It also handles communications and other information exchanges.
In May 2000 the Australian air force base at Darwin became the first site to use ADATS.
Airservices operates The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System. TAAATS tracks aircraft using radar data processing from primary and secondary radar coverage within 50 to 250 nautical miles. Automatic-dependant surveillance is used when an aircraft is outside radar coverage and flight data processing takes over when neither RDP nor ADP is available.
TAAATS also enables air-to-ground exchange of control information as free text messages providing controller-pilot data link communications.
Airservices covers airspace between 2 degrees and 90 degrees South latitude and from 75 degrees to 163 degrees East longitude. Coverage is about 11 percent of the Earth's surface, totaling 22 million square miles, Airservices said.
Airservices also provides aviation rescue and fire fighting services at 21 of Australia's busiest airports. In March 2009 the corporation announced a $63 million upgrade program that includes purchasing 33 fire trucks and building new fire stations at Perth Airport and Maroochydore Airport on the northern Sunshine Coast.
Airservices also said it would be buying new aerial fire-fighting vehicles capable of reaching the higher upper decks of the Airbus A380 when it goes into service.