Monday, February 01, 2021

India’s oceanic airspace gets an eye in the sky for air traffic surveillance

New Delhi: India’s oceanic airspace has got an additional layer of air traffic surveillance that will allow aircraft to fly at economic flight levels in terms of fuel burn. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) last week deployed Aireon’s space-based “automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast” (ADS-B) air traffic surveillance system deployed across Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata’s oceanic airspaces. This will provide an additional layer of surveillance, backing up the existing ground-based network.

“Prior to the deployment of the Aireon system, aircraft were compelled to fly at uneconomical levels due to the high-traffic and many conflict points at crossing paths, burning extra fuel and resulting in extra expenses for airlines. Now, with more accurate position reporting available throughout the entire region, aircraft are more likely to get preferred flight levels and route changes, alleviating the prior issues,” AAI said in a statement.

With an airspace of over 90 lakh square km, multiple crossing airways and dense, continuously growing traffic, multi-layer surveillance covering the entirety of the airspace provides more efficient solutions, safer processes and greater visibility. Improved communications and data sharing between Asia, the Middle East and Europe is among the key objectives of this system aimed at reducing delays.

AAI member (air navigation services) Vineet Gulati, who this January-end, had said last week: “The collaboration and determination to complete implementation testing remotely by both the AAI and Aireon teams have set the region up for a successful 2021. Despite the challenges that came because of the ongoing global pandemic, AAI was able to continue testing to prepare our airspace to go live with Aireon’s safety-of-life service. When travel picks up again, AAI will be ready to support the rapid increase of aircraft in a cohesive and efficient manner.”

Aireon CEO Don Thoma said: “AAI’s determination to prepare for future air travel and improve safety to match their robust traffic growth is the innovative thinking that is propelling the aviation industry forward. Deploying real-time air traffic surveillance is an initiative that has driven AAI to be a leader not only in the region, but throughout the world.”

01/02/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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