Release

Airservices expands program to modernise tower technology

10 Feb 2015

Airservices Australia has signed a contract worth approximately $20 million with Saab Sensis to install the latest digital technology into air traffic control towers at the Gold Coast, Perth, Cairns and Brisbane airports.

Integrated Tower Automation Suite (INTAS) provides air traffic controllers with electronic flight and operational information to enhance airport efficiency and ensure Airservices is well placed to meet the estimated 60 per cent increase in traffic over the next 15 years. The INTAS consoles are already installed in Airservices new control towers at Broome, Rockhampton, Adelaide and Melbourne airports.

Airservices Executive General Manager Projects and Engineering, Mark Rodwell said that INTAS brought together into one digital suite the operational information and systems previously provided by numerous computer screens and paper based systems in the control tower.

“By transitioning away from a manual, paper based system, controllers are able to concentrate more on the visual surveillance of the airport and aircraft, which supports increased situational awareness and enhanced safety,” Mr Rodwell said.

“We are in an excellent position to manage the transition to new digital tower technology and to minimise any potential disruption to operations, including through the experience gained during the first phase of this program. As with any new system, we have been working closely with Saab Sensis to keep INTAS updated to the latest software versions, ensuring we continue to operate safely, which is our highest priority.”

INTAS is expected to contribute to improved efficiencies at Cairns and Gold Coast airports by introducing a dedicated Airways Clearance Delivery frequency and function without the need to increase the number of controllers.

In Brisbane and Perth, the introduction of INTAS will include a provision to be scaled up to cater for future parallel runway operations.

Gold Coast tower will be next to be fitted with INTAS which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, and commissioned into service during the second quarter of 2016. Perth, Cairns and Brisbane towers will follow in turn at approximately six monthly intervals.

To accommodate the transition to INTAS, Airservices will further invest in upgrades to the four control towers including improvements to electrical power and air conditioning systems to improve the reliability and service availability.