Airways and New Zealand are now reaping the rewards of a recently implemented IP-based voice communication system for air traffic control (ATC), which went live on October 29, 2023. According to Gareth Evans, the Managing Director of Rohde & Schwarz Australia, the CERTIUM VCS system is enhancing Airways’ operational flexibility nationwide. The system’s IP design and quad-redundant, distributed architecture ensure seamless voice communications across various locations.
Rohde & Schwarz IP-based Voice Communications System went live for New Zealand air traffic controllers
With its presence in both the North and South Islands, the system exhibits high resilience, allowing for the smooth transfer of airspace control between a control center and its local contingency center, as highlighted by Mr. Evans. As part of Tranche 2, Rohde & Schwarz and Airways plan to expand the new system to towers throughout the New Zealand ATC network. Additionally, Rohde & Schwarz Australia has committed to providing ongoing support and maintenance under a 15-year contract.
Airways Chief Information Officer Geoff Peck said the Rohde & Schwarz system will be extended to cover all of New Zealand’s airspace on any radio or console across the country.
“This was a very collaborative relationship, with the Airways technical team working very closely with Rohde & Schwarz developers and engineers to deliver a system tailored to meet our specific needs.”
Rohde & Schwarz Australia’s Head of ATC Programs Daniel Wang noted the achievement of the successful ‘go-live’ was all the more rewarding given the project’s scale, complexity and circumstances.
“A globally distributed engineering team ensured the meticulous design, integration, verification and validation of the system against approximately 1,000 requirements, with 20% needing software adaptations,” Mr Wang said.
“Pulling this together, while working across three time zones and coping with over 20 months of COVID-related travel restrictions is a testament to the success of the innovative approach we implemented and the trusted, collaborative working relationship Rohde & Schwarz and Airways have developed.”
Marius Münstermann, Vice President ATC at Rohde & Schwarz explained: “CERTIUM IP-based VCS is a flexible, cost-effective and innovative solution for all ATC voice communications needs, meeting established requirements for availability, reliability and safety. These attributes, coupled with the growing need for dynamic ATC scenarios with network-based sharing and distribution of operational resources across multiple locations also known as “Virtual Center” make it a very attractive proposition for other air navigation service providers operating in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.”
Rohde & Schwarz will showcase its voice communication solutions both for civil and military use cases at Singapore Airshow (20 – 25 February 2024).