Defence, Airservices prepare air traffic systems merger

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Defence, Airservices prepare air traffic systems merger

Long-discussed project kicks off.

The Department of Defence and Airservices Australia are preparing to merge their individual Air Traffic Management Systems (ATM) into one, ending several years of industry discussion by opening the project to tender.

The project has been under consideration since mid-2010.

Airservices' 3900 staff, including 1000 air traffic controllers, provide the aviation industry with aeronautical data, telecommunications, navigation services and aviation rescue and fire fighting services.

Defence and Airservices on Friday released a request for tender (RFT) for suppliers to participate in “a unique opportunity for the harmonisation of future civil and military air traffic management infrastructure and operations”.

Both the current ATM systems are approaching end of life. According to the tender documents, the merger is aimed at removing the limitations involved in separately managed volumes of airspace and the constraints of operating different systems.

Air Force Chief Air Marshal Geoff Brown said harmonising the two systems would offer “greater operational efficiencies, seamless systems compatibility, and better investment in personnel and infrastructure”.

“It will reduce overlaps, increase cooperation, improve communication, and deliver better training and expertise across the workforce,” he said in a statement.

The civil military air traffic management system (CMATS) will have functions including surveillance; concurrent recording of video, audio and data; recording of all operational, technical and training users received and transmitted audio for each workstation; and recording of operational screens displaying flight tracks.

Airservices is leading the project. The tender will close on 30 October this year but won’t be signed until April 2015 while the agencies screen, evaluate and negotiate with suppliers.

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