The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) plans to introduce surveillance control as the aviation body opens tenders for the modernisation of its air traffic management system.
An air traffic management system is a group of software, hardware and processes that work together to provide services to aircraft. It is the primary tool of work for air traffic controllers.
The SCAA’s general manager of the Air Navigation Services, Esmee Samson, said that the current air traffic management system caters primarily for flight data processing.
“It has several limitations impeding the implementation of modern performance-based procedures, technologies and keeping up with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Aviation Safety Block Upgrade (ASBU) Methodology timeline,” she said.
The main function of SCAA is to provide air traffic control. Upgrading the system to offer surveillance control will allow it to give a more efficient and safe service to customers. An upgrade will also allow the authority to provide additional paid-for services that will result in an increase in revenue.
The ‘Modernisation of the Air Traffic Management System for the Seychelles Air Navigation Service Provider’ tender is open for international original equipment manufacturer or supplier of an air traffic management solution.
“Currently in Seychelles, there are no companies with the expertise to carry out this project. To be eligible to participate in this tender, the supplier needs a minimum of three similar implemented projects in different countries,” said Samson.
She added that the system is a safety-critical one that needs to ensure high availability and reliability, and as such should have been tried and tested in multiple environments.
The upgrade, which is expected to take 12 months to complete, will have minimal to no impact on the day to day operation of the airport. A change within safety net parameters and procedures for air traffic control provision will affect aircraft flying within Seychelles’ Flight Information Region (FIR).
“Risk analysis and change management process have been carried out to ensure minimal disruption within SCAA’s operation. For the aircraft, it will seem like business as usual, whilst for the controllers and engineers, their day to day work will change as at one point in time the new system will be simultaneously operational alongside the old system,” explained Samson.
SCAA’s current Air Traffic Management system has several limitations impeding the implementation of modern performance-based procedures. It is therefore important that the Authority modernises the existing one and introduce surveillance to eliminate the limitations so as not to be left behind regionally and globally.