ASIA Travel

CAAS and Aireon to Enhance Aircraft Tracking

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Aireon LLC signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Wednesday, to enhance aircraft tracking in the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR).

Through this collaboration, Aireon aims to work with CAAS to enhance surveillance coverage over the entire Singapore FIR with the deployment of a space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) service.

The MOA was signed by Yap Ong Heng, Director-General of CAAS, and Don Thoma, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aireon, at the sidelines of the High Level Safety Conference held in Montreal, Canada on 4 February 2015.

“This agreement is an extremely important step forward in ensuring safe, efficient and cost-effective air navigation services on a long-term, sustainable basis,” said Don Thoma, President and CEO, Aireon. “Singapore is a leader in air traffic management deployment and implementation, and we will be working closely with CAAS to explore and define how Aireon’s capabilities can greatly improve aviation operations in the Singapore FIR and the region.”

The MOA lays the groundwork for collaboration on the enhancement of surveillance and better provision of air traffic services through space-based ADS-B surveillance services in the Singapore FIR and the region. This includes evaluating the unique requirements of the Singapore FIR and the region; developing the needed policies, standards and procedures for use of the space-based ADS-B service; and determining how best to implement this service to improve and harmonise the efficiency of air traffic management services in the Singapore FIR and the region.

Currently, some parts of the Singapore FIR are not under surveillance coverage, such as remote areas and over the oceans. In such areas, air traffic controllers must provide a larger separation between aircraft to ensure safety of the aircraft and passengers.

With the deployment of this space-based ADS-B service, the real-time positions and en-route status information of all ADS-B equipped aircraft flying within the Singapore FIR can be tracked.

This ability to track all aircraft is one consideration to allow for the safe reduction in separation between aircraft, thus increasing airspace capacity.

Yap Ong Heng, Director-General, CAAS, said, “We are constantly looking for new and innovative solutions to enable us to provide better air traffic services in the Singapore FIR. This new space-based ADS-B capability represents the next level of surveillance capability and will complement our existing ground-based air traffic surveillance systems. This technology together with the right operational procedures can potentially enhance flight efficiencies and help reduce fuel costs for airlines.”

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