Technology offers improvement over radars as the primary surveillance method

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a satellite-based surveillance system for tracking aircraft, is under trial at the Tiruchi International Airport and will be commissioned within a month, said V. Somasundaram, Member (Air Navigation Services), Airports Authority of India, in Tiruchi on Wednesday.

ADS-B is the latest technology that offers an improvement over radars as the primary surveillance method and air traffic management.

“The system will help improve both safety and efficiency of flights. Controllers will be able to track aircraft more accurately through the GPS-based system and reduce spacing between aircraft. The system thereby helps increase the air space capacity. Aircraft can be better positioned for landing, thereby reducing the approach distance and saving fuel,” Mr. Somasundaram said during a brief interaction with reporters here.

Mr. Somasundaram said the ADS-B systems, which are more cost effective than radars, have been provided at 21 airports, including Tiruchi and Coimbatore. The one in Tiruchi will cover the Madurai air space too. Data from the systems will be monitored through an integrated air space management system in Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.

The introduction of latest air traffic management technologies by the Airports Authority of India would help introduce more flights and improve the efficiency of airports and air services.

To a question, Mr. Somasundaram said the final certification for the country’s GPS-aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is expected by June or July next year after which it would become operational.

GAGAN would provide the capability for increased accuracy in position reporting, allowing for more uniform and high-quality air traffic management.

The proposed new Air Traffic Control Tower for Tiruchi Airport is likely to be sanctioned next year. Air traffic controllers at the airport were working on finalising a new and shorter route between Tiruchi and Dubai, which could reduce the flight duration by about 10 to 15 minutes, he said.