Thailand’s air traffic management agency Aerothai has selected to provide a new ATM system to be installed at all of its major facilities, which will enable controllers to use advanced satellite-based surveillance technologies.
The new automation system, based on the Thales TopSky product, will be used to handle traffic at the main area control center in Bangkok, six approach control facilities, and at airport towers. Local company Samart Corp. is the prime contractor for the project, which also involves an arrival/departure manager and an ATM simulation system to be provided by Thales, and a new nationwide voice switching system. The contract value is not being revealed.
Aerothai officials tell Aviation Week that the project will give it a fully integrated system, which it does not have at the moment because its legacy systems were supplied by multiple manufacturers.
The new system will have the capability to fuse surveillance data from multiple sources, the officials say. This means data from automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) and wide-area multilateration can be combined with radar signals to give more accurate positions.
Aerothai currently has one ADS-B ground station installed in Bangkok which it is using for test purposes, but it has plans in place to install another four ADS-B sites around the country. Although Thailand already has radar coverage across all of its airspace, the addition of ADS-B may eventually allow it to reduce separation in some airspace and extend coverage to lower levels.
Installation of the Thales ATM system is expected to be completed by 2017, Aerothai officials say. It will be introduced at the approach control centers at Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket, Phitsanulok and Hua Hin. The new system will also be installed at the area control center located at Aerothai’s Bangkok headquarters complex. An additional benefit will be improvements to air traffic flow management capabilities at this center, say the Aerothai officials.
Thales celebrated another success in the Southeast Asia region with the inauguration of the new Singapore Air Traffic Control Center (SATCC) on Feb. 10. The main operating system at the SATCC is LORADS III, which is based on the Thales TopSky system. It was handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore in May 2013, and “has now assumed full control of Singapore’s airspace following a successful deployment program,” Thales says.