Saturday, May 14, 2022

AAI and BEL join hands to develop indigenous air traffic management systems

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New Delhi: In a major boost to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ Initiative, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), under its R&D initiative, has entered into an agreement with Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the joint, indigenous development of systems for air traffic management and surface movement of aircraft at airports in the country which were hitherto being imported.

The agreement has been signed by AAI’s Executive Director (ATM-ATFM) BK Sarkar and BEL’s Director (R&D) MV Raja Sekhar in presence of AAI’s Chairman Sanjeev Kumar, Member (ANS) M Suresh and other senior officials of AAI & BEL at Wings India 2022 in Hyderabad on Thursday. Under this agreement, BEL and AAI will jointly develop Civil Air Traffic Management System (ATMS) with Advanced-Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (ASMGCS), a complex ground surveillance system that manages air traffic at airports and in Indian Civil Airspace for safe operation of flights from take-off to landing.

Commenting on this AAI Chairman said, “AAI is committed for safe and efficient Air Navigation Services across Indian airspace or airports enhancing capacity and cost-effective & environment-friendly services to its customers. AAI regularly upgrades the ATM system at the airports in line with evolving global service standards. The present agreement is in conformity with AAI’s R&D Policy to upgrade its ANS Infrastructure in a systematic, efficient and cost-effective manner and in compliance with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ missions of the Government. This will reduce AAI’s foreign dependency for the procurement of ANS infrastructure. I wish this will open a new chapter of collaboration in the Indian Aviation Industry.”

After signing the agreement, BEL’s Director (R&D) Rajasekhar said, “BEL has been continuously striving to expand its array of solutions for various non-defence business segments. This agreement with AAI is a major step towards the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ missions of the Government. The agreement aims at leveraging the complementary strengths and capabilities of BEL and AAI and enabling both to address airport modernization opportunities.”

The dual purpose of air traffic control is to ensure safety, maintain separation between multiple aircraft, and efficient management of operations at the airport and Indian airspace. ASMGCS provides routing, guidance and surveillance services to aircraft and vehicles, on the ground, in order to maintain safe surface movement in all weather conditions at the airport.

The aim of ATMS with ASMGCS is to provide the air traffic controller with the complete air traffic picture of the coverage area while interacting with Primary/Secondary Radar, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), Multi-lateration System (MLATs), and navigational equipment such as GPS, Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Doppler Very High-Frequency Omni Range (DVOR). It also interfaces with multiple sub-systems including Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN), Airport Operational Database (AODB), Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) and Centralized Air Traffic Flow Management system (CATFM). The system is used in congested airports and airspaces to serve a large volume of air traffic, including military flights.

The system comprises multiple, in-house developed technologies, such as Situation Display for Air traffic controller, Surveillance Data Processing (SDP), Flight Data Processing (FDP), Safety Net and Decision Support (SNET), Control & Monitoring Display (CMD), Advanced ASMGCS, etc. It helps in increasing capacity with improved safety by reducing controller workload, improving air traffic flow and minimising flight delays. Enhanced system reliability and availability are provided through redundant and distributed architecture, safeguarding ATM operations.

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