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Indias Air Traffic Control to Move to Safer Digital Communications

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The Airports Authority of India has selected SITA to deliver enhanced systems that will enable the exchange of air traffic control (ATC) messages with data link-equipped airlines.

Deployed in response to regional ICAO recommendations, and airspace user demands, SITAs data link service will increase both the safety and efficiency of the Indian air traffic management service which manages more than 51 million domestic flights per year.

As part of this project, data link departure clearance (DCL) systems will be deployed at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad international airports with meteorological information for aircraft inflight provided by data link D-VOLMET systems at Mumbai and Kolkata airports. SITA will also implement a centralized air traffic services (CATS) data link server that will enable access from aircraft to D-ATIS (digital automatic terminal information service) information from multiple airports across India. Together, all the SITA systems will increase safety as information will be exchanged in digital format avoiding the potential of misunderstandings that may occur due to pilot, or controller, language proficiencies and accents.

V. Somasundaram, Member-ANS (Air Navigation Services), Airports Authority of India, said, AAI is implementing data link capabilities for issue of departure clearances by Air Traffic Controllers by using SITAs data link services. This will facilitate controllers to deliver the clearances directly to cockpit printers, saving time, avoiding human errors, enhancing safety, capacity and improving operational efficiency. This will translate further into reducing delay and improved environmental benefits through reduction in emission. SITAs extensive global experience, knowledge in ATC data link technology and renowned high level of customer service combine to make them our perfect partner for these new services. In line with Global Plan Initiatives of ICAO, International best practices, and AAIs commitment to continually modernize ATM in Indian Airspace, AAI has firm plans to extend these services to other airports by the second quarter of 2011.

Philip Clinch, SITA VP Aircraft Solutions, added, This is a very important project for the Indian air transport industry and SITAs systems will contribute to the enhancement of safety and efficiency for the Airports Authority of Indias (AAI) rapidly expanding air traffic management service. We look forward to building and developing our partnership with the AAI and supporting the full implementation of FANS.

The implementation of the SITA solutions is already underway and data link communications will be in operation at the airports by the second quarter of 2011.

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