Phoenix-Mesa Gateway upgrades to Frequentis digital tower solution

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Frequentis has replaced Phoenix-Mesa Gateway’s airport tower with an integrated digital tower solution.

Consisting of an IP voice communication solution, featuring the ED-137 standard, integrated recording and digital terminal information and weather services, the digital tower ensures controllers have modern solutions to support the anticipated growth at the airport. It also includes space for eight controllers.

The airport’s previous tower was built in 1970 when the airport was known as Williams Air Force Base and served as a training ground for air force pilots. As a commercial hub, the air traffic control tower was not big enough to support the airport’s three 10,000-ft runways, with the new tower deemed an “essential investment that would help the airport become an even more forceful economic engine for the East Valley and Arizona,” by US Representative Greg Stanton, D-Arizona.

Commenting on the new tower, which has been named after John McCain III the late US senator from Arizona, Leonard Swiontek, President Frequentis US said: “We appreciate our long-lasting relationship with Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and are a proud partner supporting the airport’s future with our integrated tower solution providing the flexibility needed to safely scale from current operation into the future. The project is also significant as it marks the first VCS connecting to IP radios using the ED-137 standard, also adopted by the FAA going live into the US.”

Slovenian ANSP upgrades area and terminal control with Frequentis software

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Frequentis has been tasked by Slovenia Control, the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) for Slovenia, to upgrade the software of the ANSP’s Safety Nets for area and terminal control to provide enhanced performance, safety and alerting functions.

Using both flight plan data and current position data, PRISMA-NET (as the Safety Nets system is called) will provide controllers clear alerts of potential safety issues and is fully integrated into Slovenia Control’s ATM environment. The system also helps ensure safe take-offs, transits and landings and detects deviations from planned course and altitude, depending on the flight data processing system (FDPS).

In 2005, Slovenia Control became the second customer to use the PRISMA_SNET, operational at their air control centre (ACC) at Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport. The latest upgrade, contracted in December 2021, will meet all the specific requirements of Slovenia Control.

Referencing the partnership, Slobodan Opacic, Head of the Development Department at Slovenia Control said: ” Slovenia Control’s fundamental guiding principle is to attain, maintain and constantly raise our safety levels and targets. For many years now, Frequentis Comsoft has been a reliable partner for achieving these goals. We look forward to working together on future projects.”

PRISMA-SNET provides a common framework that supports functions such as short-term conflict alerting (STCA) minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW), area proximity warning (APW), cleared level adherence monitoring (CLAM) and route adherence monitor (RAM), depending on FDPS input.


Header image: Slovenia Control HQ

Airservices Australia extends partnership with Frequentis for voice communication system

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Frequentis has been contracted by Airservices Australia for a Bypass Voice Communication System (BVCS) to be used in the Civil Military Air Traffic Management System (CMATS). As part of the OneSKY Program, the new system will replace the current systems with one advanced, unified solution.

Jason Harfield, CEO Airservices Australia, explained that Airservices is transforming how air traffic management is delivered in Australia through the OneSKY program. “The program will enable a number of capabilities to airspace users, including business continuity, shared use airspace, trajectory-based operations and route optimisation. A key milestone for OneSKY is the voice communication solution, which is provided by Frequentis. The BVCS will further enhance reliability and resilience, providing a backup capability to more than 200 operator positions for our en-route and terminal area operations,” he said.

Frequentis previously provided Airservices with its VCS technology at Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in 2019, when it replaced Airservices’ legacy communication system with its VOIP-based system, VCS2030X. Frequentis also provides the Main VCS and Airfield Management System for the Royal Australian Air Force sites included in CMATS. The company will now provide an independent IT-based backup VCX for Airservices sites, which doesn’t share the same software, hardware or interfaces as the main VCS.

Martin Rampl, Managing Director at Frequentis Australasia, said, “The BVCS will allow Airservices to continue to use the full CMATS capability and flexibility enabled by an IT VCS solution that supports the key objectives of CMATS, as well as resolving any potential obsolescence and support issues.”

Header image: Jason Harfield, Airservices CEO attended the Frequentis headquarters in Vienna to sign the contract with Hannu Juurako, Frequentis VP ATM Civil and Chairman of the ATM Executive Board and Margin Rampl, Managing Director Frequentis Australasia. 

WATM: CAELUM partners with Frequentis to develop South Korea’s UTM market

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South Korean company, CAELUM, has agreed to collaborate with Frequentis on urban air mobility (UAM) and uncrewed traffic management (UTM) solutions in South Korea.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the growing need for next-generation traffic management systems capable of handling the unique challenges of UAM technologies, including flexible use of airspace.

“Urban air mobility represents the next frontier of aerospace and defence innovation,” said CAELUM CEO, Michael Kwon. “We are confident that by combining CAELUM’s in-house technologies with Frequentis’ ATM expertise and products, we will be able to deliver a first-in-Korea and potentially first-in-the-world – robust, efficient and safety-oriented UTM system.”

In line with their agreement, CAELUM will also serve as Frequentis’ local partner in the South Korean market. This includes supporting localisation of Frequentis’ MosaiX solution, integration support for aviation and transportation centres, and introduction of solutions to new regional markets.

Frequentis’ Vice President New Business Development, Guenter Graf, noted that with the UTM market growing working in partnership with organisations is key to leveraging growth in this sector. “We are pleased to be discussing the next steps in our collaboration with CAELUM to support the integration of ATM and UTM in Korea,” he said.

WATM: Frequentis partners with Fintraffic ANS to transform air traffic surveillance

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Finland is set to transform its air traffic surveillance by operating tje world’s largest Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system with a network of more than 120 ground stations ranging from the Baltic Sea to Northern Lapland.

Finish Air Navigation Service Provider, Fintraffic Air Navigation Services (ANS) is using a WAM system from Frequentis Comsoft. The company installed its Quadrant system to provide WAM and ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast) coverage for 80% of the Finnish airspace.

Providing a high-quality surveillance picture with highly accurate aircraft position measurements and high update rate, the WAM system extends the air traffic surveillance capability for Fintraffic ANS, as well as creating a Mode S airspace (S= selective communication with individual aircraft), improving aircraft identification, situation picture and tracking. The south-western WAM region, including Helsinki, was put into operation in Q1, 2022 with air traffic controllers said to be delighted about the surveillance performance and extended system coverage.  Remaining WAM regions are expected to be in operation in early 2023.

“Putting the Quadrant WAM system into operation marks a major milestone for Fintraffic ANS, contributing to transforming the Finnish airspace into full Mode S Enhanced Surveillance while extending coverage. Excellent quality, high update surveillance data integrates seamlessly with our trackers,” said Tero Alastalo, SUR System Manger, Fintraffic ANS. “The robust Frequentis Comsoft Quadrant ground stations, with their minimal maintenance needs, are the perfect fit for our environment with many remote locations inaccessible during winter months.”

With a population of 5.5 million, Finland’s passenger numbers are almost five times that figure, with close to 25 million passengers reported in 2018 and 26 million in 2019. Helsinki Airport alone managed close to 22 million passengers in 2019.

The Frequentis Comsoft WAM service covers the Finnish Flight Information Region (FIR), from 600 ft above sea level, and additional lower airspace coverage for 19 airport areas. ADS-B service is provided for the FIR and for airports to ground level. The system provides high resilience, assuring continuous WAM service. Helsinki FIR and airport are designed with N-2 ground station redundancy.

Commenting on his delight at being able to support Fintraffic ANS in modernising surveillance across Finnish airspace, Constantin von Reden, Managing Director Frequentis Comsoft added: “With this WAM system from Frequentis Comsoft we have helped them prepare for new demands on their service, providing extended surveillance capabilities while improving safety and service quality.”

PTEParis: Dusseldorf Airport extends use of pre-departure sequencer

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Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport has extended the use of its Pre-Departure Sequencer, having assigned affiliate company, SITA Airport IT, to procure the extension from ATRiCS, a member of Frequentis.

The German hub has been a pioneer of A-CDM gaining full compliance in 2013 and improving its air traffic flow and punctuality ever since.

“Our departure manager has been an absolutely robust and reliable system to manage our outbound operations for many years now,” said Thomas Hansen, Head of the Airport Control Centre at Düsseldorf. “We are highly impressed with the performance of the system even under adverse conditions, for example, when we use its de-icing functions to improve our winter operations. Our aim now is to make the most of the additional capacity we get from our envisaged more flexible use of the Northern runway. We have reached this strategic goal with the extended functions of the departure manager.”

Wolfgang Hatzack, CEO ATRiCS added: “We are happy to see Düsseldorf Airport so satisfied with the Frequentis departure manager. Düsseldorf was the second airport to introduce it at the time and the system has known a success story ever since. With the Pilot Common Project in place we see airports in Europe deciding consistently to improve their departure operations. This confirms that we have been backing the right horse when we decided for the development of this system many years ago.”

Frequentis strengthens cooperation with Austro Control to enable safe flying with drones

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With the number of drones in Austria on the rise, the Austrian Air Navigation Services Provider (ANSP) Austro Control is relying on the development of an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system to ensure that uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) can continue to fly safely. As such, Austro Control has extended its decade-long cooperation with Frequentis by launching a drone management solution to enable the safe integration of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) into Austrian airspace.

The system, which will be operational by early 2023 will ensure that flight clearances for drones are handled faster, safer and more efficiently in the future in an area where both crewed and uncrewed aircraft are on the move. As such it will offer advantages for drone pilots as well as for Austro Control’s air traffic controllers.

“Drones are among the central topics of the future for Austro Control,” said Austro Control Managing Director, Valerie Hackl. “The possible applications in the commercial sector know hardly any limits. At the same time, there has been a veritable drone boom in the private sector for several years. These developments require a redefinition of airspace. With the air traffic management system, we will make drone flying in Austria even safer in the future.”

Hackl was joined by Frequentis CEO, Norbert Haslacher, who explained that the new UTM drone traffic management system is paving the way for an ecosystem that meets the increasing demand for drone flights in a regulated airspace, thanks to the possibility to embed a wide range of services and the connection of additional user groups.

“We are pleased to implement this forward-thinking project together with our long-standing partner Austro Control” Haslacher said.

With Frequentis’ cloud-based UTM solution, future communication between drone pilots and Austro Control will be based on digitalisation and automation. In the first stage of the joint project, the digital transmission of drone flight plans and the release of drone flights into controlled airspace by air traffic control are on the agenda. Subsequently, in line with EU regulations currently being implemented, drone identification and warnings of restricted airspace will be activated in the system.

Key features of the system that will be gradually implemented over the next few years are: the intuitive application for air traffic controllers and the mobile application for drone pilots enabling the real-time establishment of airspace rules and restrictions, review of flight plans and issue clearances for drone pilots. Other services include warnings of airspace that is closed – even at short notice and digitisation of the previously manual approval of flights. In addition, the traffic management system for drones also supports the Austrian economy, which wants to establish new services on the market through the use of drones.

Header image: Philipp Piber, Managing Director Austro Control; Valerie Hackl, Managing Director Austro Control; Norbert Haslacher, CEO Frequentis © Frequentis

Denmark’s Naviair partners with Frequentis for backup ATM system

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Denmark’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), Naviair, has selected the PRISMA backup solution from Frequentis Comsoft to replace its existing Clear-The-Sky (CTC) backup Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.

Naviair services the København Flight Information Region (FIR) for all major airports in Denmark, as well as the lower airspace of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. With the main ATM system in use in Denmark regularly requiring updates which sometimes can last for longer periods, a backup ATM system is essential to sustain a continuous traffic capacity of the served airspaces.

The new backup for Area Control Centre and Approach/ Tower units is capable of providing continuous traffic handling, for unlimited time periods. The project will form part of an expansion of the Remote Digital Tower (RDT) contract between Frequentis DFS Aerosense and Naviair. This expansion will build on the PRISMA APP solution integrated in the RDT system currently being implemented for Billund Approach and Tower. It will include PRISMA Enroute for Naviair’s Area Control Centre (ACC) and APP for approach/ tower units in Copenhagen, Billund and Roskilde airports.

“We require a reliable and up-to-date backup ATM system in order to ensure continuous, safety-critical air navigation services,” said Morten Søndergaard, CTO, Naviair, explaining that the need to replace Naviair’s current backup ATM system has been in the pipeline for some time.

Frequentis DFS Aerosense’ integrated digital tower and approach solution was originally selected by Naviair in 2020 to manage increasing airspace demand and support the workload of Air Traffic Control Operators (ATCOs). The initial remote tower centre at Billund Airport will house the system, which is a combination of a RDT and an approach automation solution (PRISMA APP).

“After we had learnt about PRISMA APP in the RDT project we realised the system could provide resiliency in the extreme rare case that our main ATM system suddenly becomes unavailable, but also during planned ATM system maintenance or for AIRAC (Aeronautical Information Regulation and Control) updates. We are looking forward to adding another PRISMA installation to our RDT project with Frequentis DFS Aerosense,” Søndergaard added.

Added value is offered by an open ATM platform, which enables the customer to integrate additional services and and applications either from the Frequentis group or from third-party providers.

The project will be rolled out under the AGILE delivery model and will span over two years.

Papua New Guinea’s ANSP partners with Frequentis to optimise ATM network performance

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Having first partnered with Papua New Guinea’s Air Navigation Services Provider (ANSP), NiuSky Pacific Limited in 2014, Frequentis has now been selected for a pilot project to optimise the country’s safety-critical airspace network.

Designed specifically for the ATM environment, NiuSky’s technical solution is centred around the vitalsphere automatic service level manager NetBroker. The pilot project includes the installation of the vitalsphere portfolio elements at Port Moresby as well as at a remote site.

“Given the remote location of many of our aerodromes, a secure and resilient network performing at its peak is vital to the safety and efficiency of our operations,” said Captain Ted Pakii, CEO and Managing Director at Niusky Pacific, commenting on the collaboration with Frequentis.

Frequentis’ automatic service level manager performs constant evaluation of each available network connection. It then dynamically reroutes single traffic flows to the network, delivering the required performance and quality values for this specific type of traffic with no loss of network service. The end-to-end availability of each traffic flow is maximised, allowing air traffic controllers to keep the skies open and safe.

“Frequentis’ focus is on providing safe and secure solutions for ATM environments. We are proud, that we can provide NiuSky Pacific with an innovative but proven technology to make their network ATM-grade,” said Hannu Juurakko, Frequentis Vice President ATM Civil and Chairman of the ATM Executive Team.

“By utilising our automatic service level manager, we fill the technical gap between conventional IP networks and the very specific and heterogeneous requirements of various ATM applications,” he added.

French ATC to benefit from Frequentis and CS Group VCS

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The French air navigation service provider, DNSA, has awarded Frequentis and CS Group a 20-year contract to provide a main and back-up (IP-based radio/ telephone Voice Communication System (VCS) to cover 14 air traffic control (ATC) approach and tower control centres.

DSNA provides air navigation services for nine French mainland regional and several overseas centres in charge of ATC approach and tower control. The VCS system will be deployed to 14 sites located in metropolitan France (including Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris Orly and Strasbourg), as well as some French overseas territories.

While Frequentis will supply its VCS2030X for the main VCS, CS Group will supply its Communication and Security over IP (CSoIP) solution for the back-up VCS. Both IP-based integrated secured VCS solutions are compliant with EUROCAE ECD 137 standard. The main and back-up VCS will use the new full IP transmitters/ receivers deployed in France. The scope of the contract includes the design, supply and maintenance, with a unique functionality that enables the controller to operate the same frequencies and radio channels in main and back-up mode.

Frequentis’ VCS3020X allows ANSP’s to share infrastructure between area control centres and ensures all ATM relevant tower functions without any limitation on size and location. It is already trusted and proven by more than 25,000 air traffic controllers.

“This new contract highlights the relevance of our solution to answer the needs of civil air traffic control providers,” stated Marie de Saint Salvy, CS Group Deputy General Manager.

In addition to working on the ARTEMIS system since 2011, Frequentis and CS Group have been implementing the new generation of VCS (N-VCS) for control centres within FABEC (Functional Airspace Block Europe Central).