CASA shops for air traffic simulation software

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CASA shops for air traffic simulation software
Passenger plane in sky photo taken from below.

Software capabilities should include modelling midair collisions.

Australia's airline regulator the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has issued a request for tender for new simulation tools to aid the forecasts it provides air traffic controllers.

Specifically the regulator called for a Fast Time Simulation Tool (FTST) and training package for the system.

FTST systems provide a model of current aircraft movement (as a baseline) before assessing the impact of any adjustment to air traffic management policies.

In the past, CASA has relied on fast time simulation reports from third party contractors. But this has led to delays and "fluctuating quality" in airspace decisions, the RFT said.

CASA's office of airspace regulation intends to use the tool to forecast capacity demand for airports, create new routes and define new procedures. The system would allow the regulator to estimate runway incursions and determine the need for additional taxi ways.

The document said that the system should be able to model mid-air collisions, measure the impact of traffic increases on airspace, inform a range of decision support tools and provide “sophisticated visualisation display with 2D/3D playback simulation data able to export to AVI or similar formats.

Should work with Windows platform

CASA’s preference is for an off-the-shelf product that is compatible with Windows Server, Windows clients, Oracle and Microsoft SQL databases with IIS webserver platforms.

The authority noted that its IT department has a "virtualise first" policy.  Its virtual server environment is based on VMware vSphere 4.1 running on a farm of Hewlett Packard DL380 servers, using EMC SAN technology for storage.

The RFT adds that CASA is open to proposals offering alternative solutions that would achieve the same outcome.

Potential contenders for the deal may include Total Airspace and Airport Modeler (TAAM), AirTop, or RAMS Plus - three tools CASA has relied on in the past through contractors.

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