Posted on: 08 March 2016 by Mark Howells
SITAONAIR has partnered with DGAC and DECEA, the Chilean and Brazilian air navigation service providers (ANSPs), to test the viability of using the pan-American REDDIG network to deliver SITAONAIR ATS AIRCOM datalink messages between multiple ANSPs and aircraft to support air traffic services.
REDDIG is a regional telecom ground network which has been recently upgraded to provide IP service via a mixture of VSAT and ground network links. REDDIG is used for the exchange of aeronautical data each ANSP shares with its neighbouring ANSPs.
The DGAC commented, “REDDIG belongs to all ANSPs in South America and was designed to support regional requirements for air traffic services. This trial that SITAONAIR is running with DGAC and DECEA is important to investigate and demonstrate not only the technical and operational feasibility of using REDDIG for air-ground data link services but to also highlight opportunity to provide real cost-savings to all the South American ANSPs.”
Since last October, DGAC Chile has connected its FANS server to the SITAONAIR data link processor using both the local REDDIG node in parallel to its existing IP connection. During this time the reliability and security of the connections across the REDDIG network through a node operated by DECEA in Recife, Brazil have been put under intense scrutiny.
The ANSPs currently access the SITAONAIR ACARS processor using a SITA-provided generic IP service which, based on evidence from this trial, can be moved to the REDDIG IP links without changes to the ANSP system interfaces.
“We identified the opportunity to offer a higher level of security and reliability by moving the REDDIG user’s ANSP access to the SITAONAIR datalink processor in Rio de Janeiro. This is operated by SITAONAIR under a concession agreement with DECEA as part of the Brazilian national network of VHF data link stations” said François Bardin, Director Air Traffic Systems at SITAONAIR. “The cooperation between REDDIG, DGAC Chile, DECEA Brazil and SITAONAIR for this trial has created an unprecedented and highly successful example of how the industry and ANSPs can support each other in South America. We are using existing infrastructure that, once integrated, can enhance the safety and the performance of air navigation services in the region, with the added benefit of potential cost savings.”
The project has been running for the past six months and is being conducted by DGAC and DECEA on behalf of the 14 countries in the ICAO South America group of ANSPs.