Having completed the rollout its new digital air traffic control suite at four new airport towers, Airservices says it will begin installing the new suite at four existing towers in the period ahead.
The nation’s air navigation service provider says Gold Coast, Perth, Cairns and Brisbane airports will be the first four existing towers to receive the Integrated Tower Automation Suite (INTAS).
The announcement on Friday of the four airports with existing towers to get INTAS comes after installation of the suite was completed at Broome, Rockhampton, Adelaide and Melbourne airports in early 2014.
“We planned the implementation of this latest technology so that we would have a large amount of experience prior to installation in an operational control tower,” Airservices executive general manager of air traffic control Greg Hood said in a statement on Friday.
“Due to our safety culture and this previous experience we are in an excellent position to manage this transition to minimise any disruption to operations and continue to operate safely, which is our highest priority.”
INTAS combines flight and operational data, surveillance and voice communications. It is provided by Saab Sensis, NAV Canada and Harris.
The air traffic controller has four touchscreen monitors and electronic flight strips, doing away with the paper strips used currently.
“By transitioning away from a manual, paper based system, controllers are able to concentrate more on the visual surveillance of the airport and aircraft, leading to increased situational awareness and enhanced safety,” Hood said.
“It also provides controllers with greater information about airport operations, which can be used to enhance airport efficiency and ensure we are well placed to meet the estimated 60 per cent increase in traffic over the next 15 years.”
No timeframe was given for when the four existing towers would begin to receive the the new suites.
Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth and Brisbane airports would also receive upgrades to mechanics, electrical, fire and water services, Airservices said.
In December 2013, Melbourne Airport suffered a glitch with the new INTAS system due to a data fault that disrupted flight arrivals and departures for a few minutes.