Jeddah, Saudia Arabia — On 2 November 2009 the air navigation service provider of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia put its new AMHS messaging system into operational service.

Just before the start of the annual pilgrim period Hajj, which causes very high rises in traffic figures in the region, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Jeddah has begun operating its new message handling systems of brand AIDA-NG, supplied by the German ATC-specialist COMSOFT.

Thanks to in-depth testing, outstanding cooperation and the ambitious support of the customer’s intensively trained staff during the preparation period, the cut-over could be performed smoothly and with the lowest operational risks. The Saudi Arabian air navigation service provider handles national and international AFTN/CIDIN connections using COMSOFT’s AIDA-NG system. As a result of extensive preparation and on-the-job training sessions the local air traffic operators are well prepared to face the impending high traffic period.

In addition to the two AIDA-NG systems forming the central aeronautical messaging hub on the Arabian peninsula, GACA also received the web-based CADAS terminal application for easy and intuitive handling of flight plans and other aeronautical messages.

As a next step, GACA has already coordinated with its neighbour in Cairo to replace the current CIDIN connection with a high-speed AMHS link in early 2010. Eng Mohammed Ahmed Al-Salmi, GACA’s vice-president of air navigation services, stated: “GACA, the air navigation service provider of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with their role as a central hub of the Mid region, is very pleased to be in the position to support ICAO in their endeavour of introducing AMHS globally.”

COMSOFT was established in 1979 and has been active in the ATC domain for over 20 years. The company enjoys a worldwide reputation in this market.