Gold Coast Airport will have Airservices’ new digital air traffic control suite by the end of 2015.
Airservices said on Tuesday it had awarded a $20 million contract to defence and security company Saab for the installation of its Integrated Tower Automation Suite (INTAS) at four existing control towers – Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast and Perth.
The INTAS workstations and consoles were currently at control towers at Adelaide, Broome, Melbourne and Rockhampton airports.
“Gold Coast tower will be next to be fitted with INTAS which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and commissioned into service during the second quarter of 2016,” Airservices said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Perth, Cairns and Brisbane towers will follow in turn at approximately six monthly intervals.”
INTAS combines flight and operational data, surveillance and voice communications.
The air traffic controller has four touchscreen monitors and electronic flight strips, doing away with the paper strips used currently.
The nation’s air navigation service provider flagged upgrades to the Gold Coast, Perth, Cairns and Brisbane airports control towers in September last year, after the rollout of INTAS at Adelaide, Broome, Melbourne and Rockhampton was completed.
However, no timeframe was given at the time when the four existing towers would be given the new suites.
Airservices said the planned installation of INTAS at Brisbane and Perth included provisions for new parallel runways at both airports.
“We are in an excellent position to manage the transition to new digital tower technology and to minimise any potential disruption to operations, including through the experience gained during the first phase of this program,” Airservices executive general manager of projects and engineering Mark Rodwell said in a statement.
“As with any new system, we have been working closely with Saab Sensis to keep INTAS updated to the latest software versions, ensuring we continue to operate safely, which is our highest priority.”
Saab was the prime contractor of the INTAS program, the defence and security company said in a separate statement, with NAV CANADA and Frequentis as suppliers.
“Saab has a long history of deploying air traffic control technologies to Airservices that improve the safety and efficiency of flight,” Saab head of traffic management Anders Carp said.
“This new contract will extend our partnership and bring an industry-leading air traffic control tower system to four major airports that are experiencing a growth in air traffic.