Northrop Grumman’s Europe-based air traffic management (ATM) systems subsidiary, together with the UK’s air traffic management services provider (ANSP) NATS, has installed an airspace communication system in the North Sea to enhance air safety.
Deployed by the Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems, the T6 radio area coverage system offers air traffic control radio communications in the East Shetland Basin oil-producing areas.
During the deployment, the system requirements were met via an IP network connecting Park Air T6 radio installations on three production facilities with the NATS Aberdeen control centre that will offer air traffic control (ATC) voice services to helicopter flights in North Sea.
Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems managing director Charles Houseago said that the collaboration with NATS overcame several challenges that were posed by implementing the new technology in a hostile environment.
"IP-based networks will rapidly become standardised for air traffic control communications and I’m proud that our company is at the forefront of realising the potential of this technology," Houseago said.
Complying with the international ED-137 standard developed by the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment Working Group 67, the system enables both voice and remote control data over an IP wide area network.
In January 2013, Northrop Grumman had deployed the world’s first-of-its-kind IP Communication Network for air traffic control in Uruguay to offer voice communications to all aircraft operating in Uruguay.
Dirección Nacional de Aviación Civil e Infraestructura Aeronáutica (DINACIA) had linked the sites and control centre with an IP network to enable enhanced performance and save telecommunications expenditure.
Image: Northrop Grumman’s Park Air T6 radio systems deployed on three production facilities will be linked with the NATS Aberdeen control centre to offer ATC voice services to helicopter flights in North Sea.