Historic Air Traffic Management commissioned

Air Traffic Controller Usaia Kaitani using the new Aurora ATM system in the Nadi Air Traffic Management Centre. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI AIRPORTS

An upgraded Air Traffic Management (ATM) system that will pave the way for surveillance control in Fiji’s Domestic Airspace was commissioned by Fiji Airports.

According to Fiji Airports Board Chairman, Geoffrey Shaw the ground-breaking upgrade is a historic milestone for Fiji to successfully transition to the new Aurora ATM system.

A statement by Fiji Airports says the new Aurora ATM system supplied by global technology company, Adacel integrates Oceanic, Terminal Area and Tower Control capabilities and includes a new simulator to train air traffic controllers in an ADS-B Surveillance control environment.

“Fiji Airports manages six million square kilometers of airspace in the Nadi Flight Information Region which covers the airspace of Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tuvalu and Kiribati. The commissioning of this new Aurora ATM system is groundbreaking in the fact that we will now provide enhanced airspace efficiency and safety to our airspace users,”  Mr Shaw said.

“It is a significant milestone for Fiji Airports to make this historic ATM transition during the COVID-19 pandemic.  While there was great pressure and valid need to cut costs across most entities in the aviation industry, Fiji Airports persevered with our previous commitment to continue personnel training and upskilling of our people through the implementation of the new Aurora ATM System,” he said.

“This modernizes our ATM system and provides air traffic controllers with the latest ATM technology including electronic flight strips, advanced flight and surveillance data processing and training capabilities. It is one of the world’s best ATM systems for managing procedural control in Oceanic Airspace integrated with the capabilities and tools needed to manage traffic in the domestic environment. This approach allows for optimal fuel-efficient routing in the procedural environment with reduced separation minima for airspace efficiency and gives controllers the tools they need to provide ADS-B based surveillance in en route and approach phases of flight.”

Air Traffic Controllers Stanley Prakash and Jackie Tabua using the new Aurora ATM system in the Nadi Tower. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI AIRPORTS

Daniel Verret the CEO for Adacel said Fiji Airports has been their customer for over a decade now and they value the team’s commitment to this significant project.

“Deploying a new system with major new capabilities is a challenge on its own; successfully implementing it during a global pandemic is absolutely remarkable,” Mr Verret said.

“I could not be prouder of the impressive teamwork and close collaboration between Adacel and Fiji Airports to ensure the success of this mission,” he said.

Oceanic controller Elizabeth Brown using the new Aurora ATM system in the Nadi Air Traffic Management Centre. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI AIRPORTS

Fiji Airports has been using Adacel’s Aurora ATM system to control air traffic in its oceanic airspace since 2010.

With the deployment of the new Aurora ATM System, Fiji Airports now operates a single, integrated system for oceanic, en route, approach and tower control that will enable it to provide the most efficient service possible to airlines as air travel resumes.

The new Aurora system also delivers a complete technical refresh of the system with new Linux-based hardware and high-resolution displays for controllers at the Nadi ATM Centre and Nadi and Nausori towers.

With this upgrade, controllers have advanced tools and capabilities for all traffic domains, including new Human-Machine Interface (HMI) for quick flight plan creation, clearance delivery and coordination as well as optimized electronic flight strips in the towers.


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