Air Traffic Management Systems


Recently, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), under its R&D initiative, has signed an agreement with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to jointly develop indigenous Air Traffic Management System.

About Air Traffic Management:

  • Air traffic management (ATM) is an aviation term encompassing all systems that assist aircraft to depart from an aerodrome, transit airspace, and land at a destination aerodrome, including air traffic control (ATC), air traffic services (ATS), airspace management (ASM), and air traffic flow and capacity management (ATFCM).
  • The increasing emphasis of modern ATM is on interoperable and harmonized systems that allow an aircraft to operate with the minimum of performance change from one airspace to another.
  • Air traffic controllers prevent collisions and maintain an orderly flow of air traffic. The commonly used technologies and systems in air traffic management and control include:
    • Surface movement and surveillance radars
    • Holographic radar
    • Navigation and surveillance systems
    • Voice communication control systems
    • Ultra-high frequency (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) communication systems
    • Flight data information display equipment
    • Radio modems and transceivers
    • Collision avoidance systems
    • Noise monitoring systems
    • Meteorological sensors and displays
    • Airfield lighting control and monitoring
    • Training management software
  • ATC systems have traditionally been developed by individual States that concentrated on their own requirements, creating different levels of service and capability around the world.
  • Many Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) do not provide an ATC service that matches the capabilities of modern aircraft, so ICAO has developed the Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) initiative in order to harmonise global planning of technology upgrades.
  • In the Asia/Pacific Region, the ICAO Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand is developing a Seamless ATM Plan, which is intended to set expectations for ATM upgrades in the world’s busiest aviation region in terms of Revenue Passenger Kilometres.
  • The Seamless ATM Plan is expected to be approved by the Asia/Pacific Air Navigation Planning and Implementation Regional Group (APANPIRG) in mid-2013.

What are the Objectives and Significance of the Agreement?

  • It will help in leveraging the complementary strengths and capabilities of BEL and AAI and enabling both to address airport modernization opportunities.
  • It will ensure safety, maintain separation between multiple aircraft, and efficient management of operations at the airport and Indian airspace.
  • It aims to upgrade its ANS (Air Navigation Services) Infrastructure in systematic, efficient and cost-effective manner and in compliance with the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ missions of the Government of India.
  • It will reduce AAI’s foreign dependency for procurement of ANS infrastructure.

Airports Authority of India (AAI)

Founded in 1995, the Airports Authority of India was created through the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994 under the aegis of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Hence, it is a statutory body.

  • The AAI manages the building, enhancing, servicing and management of the civil aviation infrastructure in India. 
  • The major function of the AAI is to provide Air Traffic Management (ATM) services over airspaces that belong to the Indian Territory and the neighbouring oceanic areas.
  • It also provides CNS (Communication Navigation Surveillance).
  • It is responsible for the creation, management, maintenance and up-gradation of aviation infrastructure in the country. Management of international airports, domestic airports, customs airports and civil enclaves in the defence airfields is vested in the AAI. 
  • The headquarters of the Airports Authority of India is in New Delhi

Achievements of AAI

Some of the achievements of AAI are listed below:

Sr. NoProjectsDescription
1Automatic Dependence Surveillance System/ADSSIndia was the first nation in South-East Asia to implement ADSS at Chennai & Kolkata Air Traffic Control Centres.  This enabled Air Traffic Control over oceanic areas using satellite mode of communication.
2GAGAN ProjectGAGAN is implemented by AAI in alliance with ISRO.  To get the navigational requirement of the aircraft, navigation signals received from the Global Positioning System (GPS) would be augmented.
3Performance-Based NavigationAAI has also implemented Performance Based Navigation Procedures at the airports in Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Source: PIB

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