Global technology and consulting firm Indra and EUROCONTROL Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) have deployed an Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract system (ADS-C).

The ADS-C system enables air traffic control systems to manage air traffic with more accuracy, stated Indra.

This is done by providing automated data exchange between air traffic control systems and the onboard computer of an aircraft.

The new technology also helps in early conflict detection, marking the first step toward Trajectory Based Operations (TBO).

This is said to expedite the digitalisation of the European sky.

EUROCONTROL MUAC director John Santurbano said: “ADS-C provides benefits for both controllers and aircraft operators and ultimately allows for better air traffic management (ATM), enhanced safety, flight efficiency and savings for all key players.

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“The higher the number of aircraft equipped with ADS-C, the more visible all these benefits will be – both for the individual aircraft and also, thanks to higher predictability, at network level.

“Our current implementation is a major step towards trajectory-based operations, a first step towards future enhancement of existing tools and an enabler for automation for at least the coming decade”

The ADS-C system facilitates direct communication with the aircraft through ‘silent’ communication, which minimises voice communication, streamlines ATM, and reduces controller and pilot workloads.

Data is transmitted using the ATN, a global information highway within the ground-to-ground and ground-to-air communications segment.

The system can also check if a flight has moved from its specified route.

Indra Central Europe ATM director Xose Luis Gonzalez Paz said: “Collaboration and a firm commitment to innovation are ways of improving sustainability and guaranteeing the future of the air navigation sector in Europe and around the globe.

“The digitalisation of the European sky positions us at the forefront of the world and enables us to lead the transformation of a key sector that is undoubtedly set to undergo major development in the coming years.”

Recently, Airways New Zealand chose Indra to modernise the country’s radar network.