Air traffic controllers calling in sick on March 30, 2012, left two ATC sectors–Kimberley and Cable–too short of personnel to keep them operational, according to a recent report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Airservices Australia, the air navigation service provider, erected a temporary restricted area (TRA) designed to prevent aircraft from entering because there was no one to provide necessary ATC service. Despite the TRA, two Airbus A330s somehow entered and flew through the unmonitored airspace.
Thales has signed a contract with Aerothai, Thailand’s air navigation service provider, for a nationwide air traffic management system. Called Thailand modernization CNS/ATM system (TMCS), it is expected to help the country achieve the ICAO–and ASEAN–sponsored Seamless Asian Sky harmonization goals.
Facing the demands of increasing air traffic capacity and operational efficiency, the countries of the Asia Pacific region have launched various programs to adopt recent advances in Air Traffic Management and advances inavionics technology over the past couple of decades. Some countries (notably Australia) have forged ahead, while others are further behind, but it is hoped that recent developments could see closer cooperation for an eventual move to a whole-area solution.
Airservices Australia commissioned two new ground stations to support its national automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) network as the country’s first ADS-B mandate approaches. Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requires that aircraft flying above 29,000 feet be fitted with ADS-B avionics by December 12.
A request for tender (RFT) issued by Airservices Australia last month for the “oneSky Australia” program presents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to field a joint civil and military air traffic management system by 2020, according to the government-owned air navigation services provider.
“Remote tower” ATC systems advanced by Saab have passed site acceptance testing in Norway and Sweden, paving the way for broader acceptance of the technology at small and regional airports that have no manned tower or a tower that is temporarily staffed during the day.
Saab Sensis and LFV, Sweden’s air navigation services provider (ANSP), are working toward certification of a “remote tower” (r-TWR) concept next year meant to allow air traffic controllers to manage aircraft operations at small and regional airports from a distance using cameras and other sensors. Authorities in Australia and Norway have begun testing the technology as well.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a separation error between two Airbus A330s on March 30 in the far-northwest corner of the continent.
The FAA has received reports from Eurocontrol, Airservices Australia and Nav Canada that the mode-S transponders of some U.S.-registered aircraft transmit a FLT ID that does not correlate to the aircraft identification indicated on the flight plan. This could lead to aircraft being misidentified.
Honeywell’s SmartPath precision-landing system yesterday became the only ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) to receive FAA approval. GBAS monitors GPS signals to detect errors and augment accuracy by transmitting correction messages to aircraft, providing precision-approach guidance to all qualifying runways at an airport.
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