Papua New Guinea Advances ATM Modernization

 - April 1, 2014, 9:53 PM
Comsoft CEO Manfred Schmid, l, and Papua New Guinea Air Services CEO Ted Pakii sign ATM modernization contract in Port Moresby. (Photo: Australian Government/DFAT)

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) state-owned air navigation service provider signed a contract with Comsoft, of Karlsruhe, Germany, to modernize the island nation’s air traffic management (ATM) and surveillance systems to the latest international standard. The parties announced the contract in Port Moresby, PNG’s capital, on March 28.

Comsoft will deliver ATM automation and the capability to track aircraft by multilateration in the Port Moresby terminal area and by automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast in the PNG flight information region. Subcontractors Micronav and Frequentis will provide 3D tower control simulators and voice communication systems at Port Moresby and five remote towers, respectively. The domestic airports of Madang, Mount Hagen, Goroka, Nazdab and Tokua will contribute to the overall surveillance coverage.

Last year, Comsoft installed aeronautical message handling technology in PNG in an earlier phase of the modernization. After a procurement process started in November 2012, Papua New Guinea Air Services Ltd. (PNGASL) chose Comsoft to continue the modernization. The value of the latest contract is 33 million PNG Kinas, or $12.8 million. “Our commitment to the people of Papua New Guinea as well as the aviation industry is to provide modern equipment and systems that will contribute toward achieving our vision of becoming a world class air navigation service provider,” Ted Pakii, PNGASL managing director and CEO, said in a statement.

The Australian government is contributing K12.2 million ($4.67 million) toward ATM modernization in the country it once ruled through the PNG-Australia Transport Sector Support Program. The nations signed a memorandum of agreement to support cooperation in transport safety and security in 2010. James Hall, minister-counselor for development cooperation with the Australian High Commission, attended the contract signing. The PNG government is providing K30.6 million ($12 million) from its 2013 and 2014 budgets.

The PNG television station EMTV videotaped the press conference announcing the contract. In remarks during the event, Comsoft CEO Manfred Schmid said: “PNG’s actively expanding economy called for state-of-the-art ATM in order to cope with increasing demands for air services and meet industry advancements. The essential modernization will bring PNGASL fully in line (with) the latest ICAO recommendations, standards and practices. The fully automated and scaleable ATM automation solution from Comsoft will allow smooth aeronautical services across the entire airspace of PNG as well as integration with neighboring countries’ airspace.”