The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
and SITAOnAir have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to
explore the deployment of space-based Very High Frequency (VHF)
voice communications for air traffic management (ATM) in the
Singapore Flight Information Region.
The agreement was signed last week by Mr Kevin
Shum, Director-General, CAAS, and Mr David Lavorel, Chief
Executive Officer, SITAOnAir, on the sidelines of the 40th Session
of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly
in Montreal, Canada.
“Space-based VHF voice communications represents
the next level of ATM communications capability,” said Mr Kevin Shum, Director General, CAAS.
“When used in combination with space-based air traffic
surveillance systems, it can overcome the limitations of
terrestrial based ATM solutions. This MOU is the third
collaboration on space-based VHF voice communications that CAAS
has established. By bringing together strong complementary
capabilities to develop space-based VHF voice communications, we
hope to further enhance safety and airspace efficiency within the
Singapore Flight Information Region.”
As part of this MOU, SITAOnAir, one of the
primary Digital Service Providers (DSP) providing Aircraft
Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) services
(digital data link services) for transmission of short messages
between aircraft and ground station via satellites, will
contribute to various studies focusing on dual voice and data
SITAOnAir will also engage the industry to explore the
implementation of unmanned aerial platforms which would hover
around 60,000ft above the earth’s surface, in the stratosphere.
This solution could potentially be an alternative to a space-based
approach to serve high-traffic routes and regions.
Mr David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer,
SITAOnAir, said, “Our focus, first and foremost, is the safety and
efficiency of air traffic in increasingly busy skies. The research
conducted in Singapore propels the industry into the next stage of
air traffic management innovation and communications, providing
the potential for key solutions which will keep the skies smarter,
even in areas where ground-based VHF is not possible.”