‘Bifurcation of Chennai Oceanic Control’ & ‘Introduction of Mode S (ELS)’ at Chennai Airport


Shri A.K. Dutta, Member, (Air Navigation Services and Operations), on his visit to Chennai Airport recently inaugurated the land mark projects on trial basis at the State-of-the-art ATC Centre, Chennai. On this occasion Member (ANS/Operations) commended the staff and officers of AAI and other stakeholder for their outstanding efforts in restoring the Airport & Air Navigation Services facilities at Chennai airport within a record time after the unprecedented rains at Chennai which resulted in flooding of the entire operational area including vital communication, navigation, Surveillance and visual aids.

Shri A.K. Dutta after inaugurating the twin projects stated that many more such initiatives are under implementation with ATFM being the immediate one for reducing delay, enhancing safety & operational efficiency of aircraft operations and leading to considerable savings in Fuel and cost for the operators apart from reduction in emission.

Airports Authority of India in its continuing efforts to enhance the service levels across the crucial and vast Indian Airspace, has embarked on two recent initiatives namely, sectorizing the Chennai Oceanic Airspace and Implementing Mode S based procedures among major airports in the Southern Region.

The Oceanic airspace of Chennai spans an area of around 4,00,000 SQNM through which around 400 International Overflying aircraft transit daily using the 14 International routes providing the vital connectivity between East and Western parts of the Globe . Air Traffic Services in this huge oceanic airspace are provided by Chennai ATC round the clock using the VHF/HF frequencies, Data link and with the aid of Radar-like Surveillance tool called ADS B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast) for ensuring safe and efficient aircraft operations.

Considering the burgeoning traffic Growth, Workload of the Controllers and with the objective of ensuring enhanced operational efficiency through increased surveillance period for each aircraft, AAI Chennai has undertaken the project of Sectorizing the Oceanic Airspace on trial basis. The airspace is split into two sectors after assessing the Workload of the controllers, Traffic density in each sector , number of traffic conflict points requiring controllers’ intervention and the communication/surveillance facilities available in each sector. The project which will be executed in three phases of trial operations after Regulatory Safety Assessments , will go a long way not only in alleviating the workload of controllers but also in improving operational efficiency of ANS in the Oceanic Airspace and enabling aircraft to obtain their optimum flight profile with enhanced safety . transponder and the ATC Automation System to display aircraft Identification to the Controller.

The other important initiative is all about exploiting Mode S capability of Aircraft Conventionally, aircraft with Mode A Transponders were identified by the controllers on Radar after being observed on the Radar with the discrete code selected by the crew on the transponder. In view of limitations in the number of discrete codes, shortage of codes has been observed particularly during peak traffic periods resulting in delay in Identification of aircraft by ATC and provision of service. On the contrary, Mode S transponder equipped aircraft permit flight crew to set the Aircraft Identification, commonly referred to as Flight ID, for transmission by the transponder.

When such downlinked aircraft identification is used, SSR conspicuity code A1000 will be assigned to aircraft by ATC. Compatible ATC Automation system permits display of such Aircraft ID on the Controller’s display directly. Hence with introduction of the new system, the flights landing at – and departing from – Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad will now be identified by means of the aircraft’s own automatically downlinked aircraft identification and will no longer require a discrete SSR transponder code. Hence the new system permits direct radar identification by a controller and has the capability to relieve the shortage of Mode A codes.

Further with the existing capability of Radar for Mode S enhanced surveillance, the Automation System will be suitably upgraded wherein many vital aircraft- performance related parameters can be downlinked to the Ground ATC system providing controllers with additional data allow better flow planning and resolution of conflicts with other traffic.

IndianBureaucracy.com wishes the very best.

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