Airways moves new ATM platform into resilient buildings

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Copyright Neil Macbeth
(PHOTO: Neil Macbeth)

Singapore SA2024Airways has moved New Zealand’s air traffic management into two disaster-resilient buildings and onto a new future-fit digital platform. The new Auckland and Christchurch air traffic control centres are built to the Importance Level 4 standard of resilience, designed to be operational immediately after an earthquake or other disaster, while domestic operations have moved onto the new SkyLine-X air traffic management platform which delivers the next generation of safety and efficiency features.

Airways Chief Executive James Young says the move into the new buildings and onto the SkyLine-X software platform is the most significant change for New Zealand’s air traffic management in a generation. “This evolution in the digital and physical infrastructure of Airways makes us safer, more resilient, more secure, more flexible, more adaptable to emergencies and change, and better able to deliver efficient and sustainable services into the future,” Young says. “A key feature of the new centres is their interoperability, meaning that if an event disrupted services from one centre, a level of service could still be provided from the other centre.”

The SkyLine-X software platform, developed with technology partner Leidos, integrates New Zealand’s domestic en-route, approach and aerodrome operations across the Christchurch and Auckland surveillance centres, their new local contingency centres and towers around the country. To support SkyLine-X, Airways has put in place a new network architecture and monitoring infrastructure.

The domestic air traffic control system now operates on a new core IP-based voice communications system from Rohde & Schwarz for radio and telephone communications.

Airways has also moved its existing international air traffic control platform onto new equipment in the resilient Auckland centre. Airways manages one of the largest areas of airspace in the world – some 30 million square kilometres over New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southern Oceans and the Tasman Sea, from 5 degrees south of the equator to Antarctica.

“Airways is proud of the many staff who helped to manage a seamless transition to a new platform, buildings and other equipment. Our people have put a great deal of work into tailoring SkyLine-X to our needs and moving our operations to new equipment and new buildings,” Young says. “At Airways, our purpose is to keep our skies safe today and tomorrow. Our new physical and digital infrastructure will help us to serve all airspace users, support sustainable aviation and unlock growth into the future.”

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