Release

Safety boost at Perth Airport – new surface movement radar

5 May 2015

Air traffic controllers at Perth Airport will now be able to see and identify every aircraft and equipped vehicles on runways and taxiways through the ongoing investment in the latest technology by Airservices.

The newly-commissioned Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) provides automatic identification of all aircraft and transponder-equipped vehicles at Perth Airport for the first time, improving safety and reliability for all airport users.

Airservices Executive General Manager Air Traffic Control, Greg Hood, said A-SMGCS provides an electronic picture of what is happening on the ground at any time through the collection of surveillance data from multiple sources.

“We know from experience that introducing this technology helps improve airport safety and reliability by providing air traffic controllers with an enhanced picture of all movements on runways and taxiway areas,” Mr Hood said.

“This gives controllers another tool to safely manage surface movements, offers better detection of potential conflicts and further lowers risk of surface collisions.

“It also improves the reliability and efficiency of airport operations during bad weather and at night, when distances from our control tower can make visual monitoring more challenging.”

The system adds to the controllers’ situational awareness by predicting potential conflicts between vehicles and aircraft, and multiple aircraft movements, before they can occur. Visual and aural alarms alert controllers to potential problems enabling them to take early corrective action.

“While this technology does not replace the visual monitoring done by our controllers, it adds another layer of safety to our operations at Perth,” Mr Hood said.

Airservices is committed to initiatives like A-SMGCS that enable an increase in the number of aircraft movements that can be safely and efficiently managed at Perth.

The commissioning at Perth Airport follows extensive system testing and controller training.  A-SMGCS is also used by Airservices at Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne airports.