Dubai airports to reach target for ADSB technology by 2020

DUBAI — A senior civil aviation official yesterday said Dubai would be able to equip its airports fully with automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADSB) by 2020, nine years after this most advanced technology in air traffic control (ATC) will have been made mandatory in Europe.

By Jose Franco

Published: Sun 1 Jul 2007, 8:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:10 PM

"We have already introduced some of the aspects of this technology in line with the global plan to have ADSB in all airports by 2020," the official said. "We are ahead of all the airports in the region on this."

The official stressed that Dubai started implementing some procedures pertaining to the latest airport technology, particularly on GPS (global positioning system) approaches, years ago.

Earlier, Akhil Sharma, director for ATC Aircom Services at the UK-based Sita, one of the aviation world's major service providers of IT business solutions and communication services, praised Dubai for working to "separate" its ATC services from the general airport management.

He said this has provided so much room for improvement, stressing that the same services had been privatised in first-world countries such as Canada, the UK and Germany.

He added that ADSB would be made mandatory in Europe by 2011. He said he expected all airports in the Middle East to be equipped with ADSB from 2015 to 2025. Experts said the ADSB technology provides full automatic dependent surveillance (ADS) and controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC) every second. This makes communication between the air traffic controller and the aircraft pilot become a written message on screen instead of them exchanging messages verbally, providing for a more accurate visibility and movement clearance for the aircraft.

They added that conventional radars — which operate from a single radar head located on the ATC tower — make significant lapses in visibility coverage, particularly in key taxiway junctions. Thus, these radars could have problems in coverage depending on the location of the tower and the terminal building facilities around it.

Typical radars, such as X-band or Ku-band, are used in airports to allow pilots in plane cockpits to communicate with the tower operator regarding the presence of other aircraft or vehicles in areas being watched before takeoff.

Sharma described ADSB as the "backbone of future of ATC", and said its installation and network connection would cost an airport some Dh184 million ($500,000), as compared to over Dh36.7 million ($10 million) for the average radar. He added that typical radars have many limitations with regard to covering important manoeuvring areas, shadowing and intermittent performance problems.

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