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The Cyber Home
Current Weather
The Guild
 
Email WebMaster

ATC E-zine


ATC Guild (India)
T-1/7, Pocket-B
I N A Colony
New Delhi 110 023
India


Telephone:
91 11 24654571
Facsimile:
91 11 24619064


Issues taken up with management - 2006

 

CC/OPR-EQP/2006/1

21 February 2006

 

The Chairman
Airports Authority of India
Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan
New Delhi

 

Upgradation for ATC Automation System at Delhi and Mumbai

Sir,

This is to refresh the issue of systems upgrade for air traffic management in Delhi and Mumbai. As we are all aware, the maintenance contract will lapse in April 2006. The situation, though difficult, also provides an opportunity for us to address the challenging requirements of the future.

To begin with, we take exception to the current thinking within the AAI to procure an upgraded hardware from Raytheon so as to extend the maintenance contract. This should have been thought in advance. At this juncture, we feel, this would be a piecemeal approach by officials unmindful of the growing traffic situation on the ground.

Incidentally, a set of officials were trained by Raytheon to maintain the system but there is no clarity on why they cannot be utilised for the job they received training. At least, their existence is reflected in the proficiency allowance details.

Now if a decision to upgrade has been taken, it is important to note the following:

  • There are vendors who have offered to maintain the system. But AAI finds them incapable, which is surprising because our own technical ability in this regards is clearly suspect.

  • Technology acquisition in AAI has always been a lackadaisical affair.

For instance,

  • Procurement of MATSBD

  • Procurement of VISUAL SIMULATOR for ADC/APPROACH

  • Procurement of RADAR SIMULATOR

  • Procurement of ASMGCS

  • The hardware upgradation being spoken about will only result in faster processing power. It will not enhance the functionality of the system which can address the traffic congestion problems being faced in Delhi and Mumbai. The existing automation systems do not provide controllers with efficient tools to handle higher volumes of traffic. This inhibits improvement in the current levels of safety or for that matter even airport and airspace capacity.

  • In pursuing the case for hardware upgradation, AAI plans to also new operational software packages. We feel this will completely distort the plan for a new automation system.

Taking the above into consideration, the Guild submits the following suggestions:

  • No piecemeal upgradation (either Software/Hardware) of automation system for the time being.

  • Initiate the measures to maintain it by one more year.

  • Generate thinking on finding an alternative by examining other proposals like the one extended by THALES for greater functionality, in shadow mode. This is important because these proposals require no obligation on AAI, including financial. They also pose no operational risk.

  • Speed up defining QRs through an ICAO expert with a time frame (31st, March 06).

  • Prepare for tendering process and initiate it in April 2006 and process must be completed by September 2006.

  • Aim to install and operationalise system by April-May 2007

We believe that these suggestions will be of good value in an endeavour where both the AAI and air traffic controllers will benefit.

With regards,

R K Singh
General Secretary

Copy to:

  1. Member (Ops.), AAI

  2. Exec. Director (IPC), AAI

  3. Exec. Director (ATM), AAI

  4. Mr. Azarany, Expert, ICAO-TCB

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