STR-SpeechTech Ltd. (STR) is proud to announce that it has been contracted to supply its industry-leading StarCasterⓇ aviation broadcasting platform to fulfill the need for a new Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS/VOLMET) at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). This contract is a critical component of the airport’s development plan to meet future traffic growth through the construction of a new runway to facilitate the operation of a Three-runway System (3RS) at HKIA.
The StarCaster solution for HKIA consolidates both ATIS and En-route ATIS (also known as VOLMET) into a single modern and maintainable platform. The system will automatically produce and broadcast separate Arrival and Departure ATIS messages on discrete VHF frequencies, each containing critical information for pilots.
This will include the latest weather observations and airport operational information as well as ICAO’s new Global Reporting Format (GRF) for runway conditions. Simultaneously, the system will produce and broadcast an En-route ATIS message, both continuously over VHF and on a scheduled basis over HF. For both the ATIS and En-route ATIS broadcasts, StarCaster’s exclusive Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology will be utilized to convert textual information into a voice message (male & female) of the highest-quality that pilots can easily understand.
In addition to the ATIS and En-route ATIS voice messages, StarCaster will automatically generate a textual copy of these messages (D-ATIS/D-VOLMET) and transmit them upon request to ACARS-equipped aircraft through the datalink provider’s network.
The StarCaster system for HKIA involves an intricate ATIS/VOLMET software and hardware deployment to be implemented and integrated into HKIA tower operations. The solution will be deployed as a segregated Main and Fallback system, each of which utilize a high-availability virtualized environment that facilitates data sharing and synchronization.
This configuration will ensure the continuity of system operations even in the case of multiple failures or a significant disaster. StarCaster will be integrated with no less than 13 external systems for the bi-directional exchange of broadcast messages (voice & text), weather data, system performance and status information, statistics, and more. Users will interact with the system using the web-based StarCaster Human Machine Interface (HMI) from any of the planned 30 dedicated workstations located throughout the airport and air traffic control facilities.
The majority of these workstations will also have a self-contained version of the StarCaster software installed, which will allow broadcasting operations to continue in the very unlikely case of a total system failure. Additionally, a Test and Development (TDS) system will be provided which will mirror the operational system and which can be used for the training of personnel and for testing new software or system configurations over the operational lifespan of the system.
The process of putting a new runway into operations at one of the world’s busiest international airports is multifaceted, and as a result the implementation of StarCaster will be equally complex.
“We are pleased and excited to have been selected as the preferred supplier of D-ATIS and D-VOLMET for HKIA,” said Craig Dickson (President and CEO of STR-SpeechTech Ltd). “StarCaster’s renowned reliability and natural voice quality, combined with its secure technology and flexible platform, contribute uniquely to its capability to meet HKIA’s complex requirements.”
STR expects to deliver one of the most advanced and integrated D-ATIS/D-VOLMET systems available, which is ideally suited for HKIA’s current and future demands.