In a major boost to its own diversification drive into non-defence and the Government's 'Make in India' programme, Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), under it's R&D initiative, at Wings India-2022, has entered into an agreement for the joint, indigenous development of systems for air traffic management and surface movement of aircraft at airports in the country which were hitherto being imported.
Under this Agreement, BEL and AAI will jointly develop Civil Air Traffic Management System (ATMS) with Advanced-Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (ASMGCS), a complex ground surveillance system that manages air traffic at airports and in Indian Civil Airspace for safe operation of flights from take-off to landing.
The agreement was signed by M.V. Raja Sekhar, Director (R&D), BEL, and M. Suresh, Member (ANS), on behalf of BEL and AAI, respectively, in the presence of Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman AAI, at Wings India-2022 in Hyderabad on March 24, 2022.
The dual purpose of air traffic control is to ensure safety, maintaining separation between multiple aircraft, and efficient management of operations at the airport and Indian airspace. ASMGCS provides routing, guidance and surveillance services to aircraft and vehicles, on the ground, in order to maintain safe surface movement in all weather conditions at the airport.
The aim of ATMS with ASMGCS is to provide the air traffic controller with the complete air traffic picture of the coverage area while interacting with Primary/Secondary Radar, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), Multi-lateration System (MLATs), and navigational equipment such as GPS, Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR). It also interfaces with multiple sub-systems including Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN), Airport Operational Database (AODB), Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) and Centralised Air Traffic Flow Management system (CATFM). The system is used in congested airports and airspaces to serve large volume of air traffic, including military flights.
The system comprises multiple, in-house developed technologies, such as Situation Display for Air traffic controller, Surveillance Data Processing (SDP), Flight Data Processing (FDP), Safety Net and Decision Support (SNET), Control & Monitoring Display (CMD), Advanced ASMGCS, etc. It helps in increasing capacity with improved safety by reducing controller workload, improving air traffic flow and minimising flight delays. Enhanced system reliability and availability are provided through redundant and distributed architecture, safeguarding ATM operations.
M.V. Raja Sekhar, Director (R&D), BEL, said after signing the agreement: “BEL has been continuously striving to expand its array of solutions for various non-defense business segments. This Agreement with AAI is a major step towards ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ missions of the Government of India. The agreement aims at leveraging the complementary strengths and capabilities of BEL and AAI and enabling both to address airport modernization opportunities.”
Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman AAI said, “AAI is committed for safe and efficient Air Navigation Services across Indian airspace/airports enhancing capacity and cost-effective & environment friendly services to its customers. AAI, regularly upgrades the ATM system at the airports in line with evolving global service standards. The present agreement is in conformity with AAI’s R&D Policy to upgrade its ANS Infrastructure in systematic, efficient and cost-effective manner and in compliance with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ missions of the Government of India. This will reduce AAI’s foreign dependency for procurement of ANS infrastructure. I wish this will open a new chapter of collaboration in Indian Aviation Industry.”