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IATA urges Mumbai ATC to implement new surveillance broadcast system for better communication with aircraft

By Neha LM Tripathi, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2020 04:47 PM IST

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 290 airlines globally, has written to the Mumbai air traffic control (ATC) to implement the Space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (SADS-B) system sooner for effective communication with flights over the country’s oceanic regions.

This comes after the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has successfully run trials of the system for the last six months.

SADS-B is a technology that not only allows an aircraft to automatically send its location updates via satellites to traffic controllers but also assesses and allows requests from pilots to deviate from their original flight route in case of bad weather (cyclone like conditions) over the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.

HT had earlier reported about the safety advantages of the system that has also received positive feedback from both the Mumbai and Chennai ATC.

When fully implemented, India will be the only South Asian country to adopt it.

IATA, in its letter, accessed by HT, has stated that SADS-B can be utilised to identify flights that deviate from their path, which will result in establishing effective communication with the aircraft.

IATA has also welcomed efforts by Mumbai ATC in assigning dedicated frequencies (line of communication) for enroute weather-related deviations and associated communication difficulties in the oceanic region.

On its part, AAI is yet to finalise a date for running SADS-B technology in a full-fledged manner.

“Initially, it was decided to run the technology on trial for a year. But since we have been getting extraordinary results, it’s been decided to commence the use of the technology soon. We are, however, yet to decide on a date,” said a Delhi-based AAI official.

SADS-B is manufactured by Aireon, which is certified as an air navigation service provider for an automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast system by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). EASA is responsible for civil aviation safety.

Aireon has been providing its service to NAV Canada (the country’s civil air navigation), Seychelles, and the United Kingdom.

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