NAV CANADA expands surveillance over North Atlantic airspace

2 April 2012 (Last Updated April 2nd, 2012 04:35)

Canada's Civil Aviation Navigation provider NAV CANADA has extended its surveillance by an extra 1.3 million km² over the North Atlantic, which is the busiest oceanic airspace in the world.

Canada's Civil Aviation Navigation provider NAV CANADA has extended its surveillance by an extra 1.3 million km² over the North Atlantic, which is the busiest oceanic airspace in the world.

The expansion of the coverage began in March 2012 and the company has installed four Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations in southern Greenland.

The ADS-B system facilitates oceanic controllers to securely cut separation standards from 80nm to 10nm, offering the air traffic controllers the enhanced ability to provide aircraft with cost-effective flight paths, including earlier mount to fuel-efficient heights.

NAV CANADA operations vice president, Rudy Kellar, said: "We estimate that this, combined with ADS-B in north eastern Canada, will save air carriers $91 million in fuel costs and result in a reduction of 239,000t of greenhouse gas emissions from now to 2020."

"With this additional coverage, an intercontinental flight could go through approximately 3,300km of ADS-B coverage," Kellar said.

NAV CANADA's upgraded oceanic air-traffic system, the Gander Automated Air Traffic System Plus (GAATS+), has helped in incorporating the ADS-B surveillance in oceanic airspace.

The GAATS+ display will automatically detect the aircraft moving into ADS-B airspace and will permit the controller to apply the new surveillance separation standard.

ADS-B system merges satellite links, onboard equipment and ground infrastructure to provide air traffic controllers with similar information as provided by radar.

The latest ADS-B expansion follows previous deployments of NV CANADA over Hudson Bay in 2009 to cover over 850,000km² and over north eastern Canada in 2010, covering 1.9 million km².

NAV CANADA expects the combined impact of all the deployed ADS-Bs is expected to save $379m in fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 1,017,000t by 2020.