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Australia launches world’s first OneSKY system to harmonise civil and military air traffic management

Australia launches world’s first OneSKY system to harmonise civil and military air traffic management

On
Feb 26, it was announced that Airservices Australia, in partnership with the
Department of Defence, has entered into an agreement with Thales Australia to
integrate the country’s civil and military air traffic management systems.

Currently,
Airservices Australia is using the Australian Advanced Air Traffic Control
System (TAAATS) for its air traffic management system, while the Australian
military is using a military air traffic control system called ADATS.

While
both TAAATS and ADATS have been the backbone technologies for civil and
military air traffic management in Australia, the two systems are aging and unable
to match the capability of new air traffic management solutions.

As
such, Australia is introducing the country’s first harmonised civil and
military air traffic management system (CMATS) through the OneSKY system.

According
the press statement released
by the Department of Defence, this collaboration is the world’s first and the
pioneering OneSKY program using the world’s most advanced air traffic
management system technology will further earmark Australia as a global
aviation leader.

Airservices
Australia CEO Jason Harfield commented that the collaboration is “probably the
biggest development in the safe management of Australia’s skies since aviation
began in this nation”.

With
the annual Asia-Pacific air traffic growth rate predicted to be the
second-highest in the world at 4.7%, and significant development at major
airports in Australia over the next decade, the role of air traffic control is
more critical than ever.

“The
$1.2 billion OneSKY project will transform Australia’s air traffic management
system and national infrastructure in the sky, ensuring the travelling public
arrive at their destination safely and with minimal delays,” said Minister
Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP.

The
integrated system will manage more than 11% of global airspace and some of the
world’s busiest air routes. Under OneSKY, Australia will be better able to
handle forecast air traffic growth which will reduce congestion and open up
more efficient air routes to reduce flight times, fuel costs and greenhouse
emissions.

It
will be achieved through a system known as CMATS – the Civil Military Air
Traffic Control System. The new system will see air traffic controllers use
advanced technology and real-time traffic prediction tools, as they guide
aircraft and the flying public safely to their destinations.

Substantial
progress towards the delivery of CMATS under advanced work orders, has already
been made with a view to delivering the enhanced safety and economic benefits
to the aviation industry as soon as possible.

According
to the press
release
by Airservices Australia, a new Voice Communication System will be
commissioned later this year. The installation of the first phase of such
system took place last year and the system requirement review was completed in
January this year.

Minister
for Defence Marise Payne also echoed that OneSKY’s leading edge technology
meant Australia would have the most secure and resilient air traffic network in
the world.

“This
project will replace the ageing military air traffic management systems and is
essential to ensuring our ADF can continue to operate safely in Australia’s
airspace,” Minister for Defence Marise Payne said.

According
to Minister Pyne, the OneSKY project will support 450 specialist high-tech jobs
in Melbourne, building Australian skills in complex project management, systems
engineering and software development.

“Around
75% of the acquisition cost and 95% of the ongoing annual support costs will be
to Australian companies,” she added.

OneSKY is a significant program that focuses on
aligning the needs of civil and military aviation. Once implemented,
Airservices Australia and Defence will share technology and information, giving
Australia the most advanced and integrated air traffic control system in the
world. It will manage forecasted growth of air traffic movement in Australia,
by as much as 60% by 2030, minimising delays for the travelling public.