Air traffic control automation project awarded to U.S. firm

P. Oppili

CHENNAI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has awarded the automation work of air traffic control to a U.S.-based company Raytheon. An AAI source said the project, at a cost of Rs.42 crore, would be implemented in about nine months’ time. While five months are required for installing the instruments, another four months are required for providing training to the air traffic controllers.

The automation system included automatic dependent surveillance with digital link capability to exchange communication between the tower and pilot over oceanic region. This is the first of its kind to be commissioned in South Asia, the source said.

The new system would help in reducing delay in the arrival and departure of aircraft. Similarly, there are different safety alert features such as Short Term Conflict Alert, Medium Term Conflict Detection and Enhanced Flight Plan Capability to handle more aircraft. The system would also have information in respect of surveillance, navigation, air traffic flow management, meteorological information on a real-time basis, the source said. Nearly 30 air traffic controllers would be imparted training on the new system in a phased manner. The training period would range between three and four weeks.

Meanwhile, two radars, the primary and the secondary one, would be replaced with new ones. Already, the AAI has started the process for acquiring the new radars. Apart from this, an additional route radar would also be installed at the Chennai airport.

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