Indra ATM tech installed at Chengdu

(PHOTO: Shutterstock) has implemented and is putting into operation the new air traffic management systems in Chengdu, one of the few cities in the world and the third in China, along with Shanghai and Beijing, with two major international airports.

The Chengdu-Tianfu International Airport has three runways and a capacity for 60 million passengers, but will double its capacity by 2035 with the construction of three more runways. Chengdu-Shuangliu International Airport, the country’s fourth-largest airport in terms of operations, is also active.

The complexity involved in managing such a sky has led the Southwest Air Traffic Management Bureau of China (SWATMB) to once again rely on Indra, a worldwide leading supplier of this kind of technology. The company has equipped the control towers at both airports and the new terminal area control center, which orders flights within a radius of 200 miles, with state-of-the-art systems.

This centre has a flight plan processing system fully integrated with the en-route air control centre in Chengdu. “The two centers will operate jointly using the same processing system or switching to employ their own if necessary. This achieves a practically perfect coordination,” Indra said in a statement. The two towers are, in turn, integrated with each other and with the area control center. “They will operate as if they were a single system, ensuring complete fluidity in the control of every flight in all its phases.”

A single interface will give them access to all the data provided by different equipment: air traffic management systems, surveillance of movements on runways, digitised electronic records, etc. The controller receives on-screen alerts in the event of an unauthorised runway intrusion by an aircraft. It displays the glide path the aircraft follows to land and the radar information. All functionalities are aimed at supporting decision-making and enhancing security. “In the case of busy airports such as Shuangliu and Tianfu, these capabilities are essential,” Indra says.

In total, the new area centre has more than 55 air traffic controllers working positions, in addition to the more than 34 work stations in the control towers. Indra’s technology has made it possible for all of them to operate as a single centre.

Indra has played a critical role in SWATMB’s meeting the deadlines for putting the new Tianfu airport into operation. This is one of the largest air traffic projects the country has launched in recent years. This achievement adds to the company’s long history of success in its collaboration with the Civil Aviation Administration of China. In 2011, it won the contract to modernise the Xian and Chengdu en-route control centres, which manage the upper airspace of eight regions, an area comparable to that of all of Western Europe. It has also equipped more than 15 control towers and deployed some 50 radars to ensure air safety in 60 percent of the Chinese sky. In recent years, it has implemented more than 1,000 navigation aid systems.

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