When the Australians decide to go for something, they really go for it. Example: the FAA awarded its nationwide automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) contract in 2007. The Aussies did it more than three years earlier.
RAYTHEON BEECH KING AIR B200, WERNADINGA STATION, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, SEPT. 4, 2000–Investigators were unable to find the cause of the pilot’s apparent hypoxia incapacitation.
At the end of March, Airservices Australia (the country’s privatized ATC provider) announced that it had contracted with Thales of France to provide ADS-B ground stations at 28 sites, which would combine with the current coastal ATC radars to provide total surveillance coverage across the nation above 30,000 feet. Installations are forecast to be complete by the end of next year.
As an example of how ADS-B installation will work abroad, the Australian government and Airservices Australia, the country’s privatized ATC provider, proposed recently to cover the purchase and installation costs of ADS-B and GNSS avionics in approximately 11,000 Australian-registered aircraft with an mtow of less than 5,700 kg (12,500 pounds) under the nation’s ADS-B transition program.
Germany’s air navigation service provider (ANSP), Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), has agreed to buy the SITA network of 27 VHF datalink (VDL) ground stations in the country.
The air-traffic community gathered in the Netherlands last month to discuss the continually evolving options for modernizing ATC. The process is both helped and hindered by technologies that don’t seem to stand still long enough for decisions to endure, but the participants are learning to keep up with this rapid pace of advancement and deal with the slowly gelling cultures of Europe’s main players.
Airservices Australia wants to impose licensing fees to provide data for aeronautical information publications, including Jeppesen charts. If levied, the Englewood, Colo.-based company said the additional charges would be passed along to customers. Jeppesen opposes the fees, viewing them as “multiple taxation” because they would be in addition to Australia’s existing ATC and navigation user fees.
The Asia/Pacific region is pioneering the large-scale deployment of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), a technology that promises to replace the traditional secondary surveillance radars (SSR) which are commonly used to track en-route air traffic and supplement the information provided by primary radars in terminal areas.
A “commercialized” ATC system in the U.S. could result in lower charges to airlines for ATC services, but it almost certainly would mean higher fees for general aviation operators, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Airservices Australia CEO Greg Russell made the trip to Maastricht to sign a partnership agreement with Francesco Violante, his counterpart at datalink service provider SITA, that will see the two organizations jointly support a trial in Indonesian airspace of an ADS-B network that could be a prelude to a proposed southeast Asia-wide surveillance net.