Establishing efficient and reliable Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems goes beyond sky safety. It is about sovereignty, about ensuring that within their national airspace, governments have the means to guarantee safety and security.
Yet, defining country-specific needs, and the right system architecture to address them, can be challenging. Trusted industry partners such as Thales can leverage decades of experience to support customers in the design, implementation and operation of the most suitable turnkey ATM solution.
To ensure sky safety…
It takes a system of systems to ensure sky safety. Whether this responsibility falls within the perimeter of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP), airports, or the military, these entities need to calibrate a wide variety of parameters to ensure safe navigation.
The network of sensors and systems at play is complex: for every air frame entering an airspace - aircraft, helicopters, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), etc - navigation aids (NAVAIDS) and radar provide positioning data to Air Traffic Control (ATC) centres; this data is then processed by ATC systems and transformed into meaningful information to support Air Traffic Control Operators (ATCO) in their decision-making; once a decision has been made, ATCOs are responsible for communicating with air crew, via radio, to ensure sky safety.
… And make sense of complexity…
Making sense of this complex network of sensors, systems and interactions can be difficult. It is not just a matter of setting up hardware and software.
Governments seeking to install these systems must understand the environment they will be operating in. In addition to the expanse of the national airspace, topography will also play a critical role. A mountainous area will lead to very different configurations compared to a much more level terrain. Beyond physical constraints, the regulatory landscape and the industrial base must also be understood and taken into account. Finally, depending on the needs of the operators, the information elaborated on the basis of the data provided may vary.
To address this complexity, governments may choose to add to their network progressively, one solution at a time. Alternatively, they may call upon experts that can share their knowledge and experience to help them better define their needs so as to install and operate the most appropriate system of systems.
…It takes a village…
Leveraging decades of experience designing and installing ATM systems across the world and in a wide variety of environments, Thales can provide end-to-end support to its customers for end-to-end sky safety.
Thales’ turnkey solution for sky safety starts from the beginning: helping you define your project. Whether customers are seeking to regain sovereignty over their skies’ safety or protect their airspace from illegal activities – or both – Thales experts can engage with the entire eco-system around a project to define operational concepts and choose the most appropriate solutions.
Once your needs have been defined, Thales can work with you to design the architecture of your turnkey solution. Because no project happens in a vacuum, Thales architects use their knowledge of the regulatory landscape and their ATM experience to map out tailored solutions and ensure business continuity. From global surveillance to automation solutions, the best infrastructure and equipment is then selected and optimised according to customer needs.
Finally, the implementation and in-service support of a full ATM system of systems, regardless of the chosen architecture design, implies many interfaces. From radar and civil engineers installing and maintaining the solutions all the way to local authorities and permission requirements, contractors and contacts may be numerous and, at times, overwhelming. Thales project managers can become your prime contractor throughout the project. Leveraging their worldwide network of local experts and connections, they can also help you choose from the best local companies, so that you can focus on your needs while we focus on your process, long-term vision and local investment.
… And trust
Designing, implementing and operating turnkey solutions happens within a given environment, with a specific eco-system, but it can also be subject to significant time constraints. Yet when time is of the essence and where security is at stake, there is no room for mistakes.
A trusted partner in 60 countries worldwide, Thales is not only capable of delivering end-to-end turnkey solutions for efficient ATM, but it can also do so within very short and strict timeframes.
When hurricane Irma hit the isle of Saint Martin in the Caribbean on 6 September 2017, it destroyed a significant share of the country’s infrastructure, including the airport. With tourist season – a key sector for the island’s economy – only half a year away, it was critical to rebuild the infrastructure as quickly as possible. Thales worked hand-in-hand with local authorities and air safety providers to rebuild critical ATM infrastructure within the space of seven months. This included not only building and delivering key solutions like radars, but also analysing the environment post-hurricane to make sure that rebuilding happened in the best and safest conditions.
Security, of course, does not only refer to national airspace; it also refers to national sovereign territory and the security of the citizens within. For ATM, this means being able to deliver for both civil and military users, understanding their critical missions and the confidentiality of the data being processed.
A trusted partner across both the civil and military sectors worldwide, Thales can deliver turnkey solutions that can satisfy both needs. In Bolivia, Thales has been working with local partners to deliver a dual-use turnkey ATM system aiming at ensuring sky safety – civil - and fighting narco-traffic – military.
Implementing a full ATM system across a country, with multiple parameters, solutions and interfaces, can be daunting. Or it can be the opportunity to engage with a partner such as Thales, that can understand your needs and design a turnkey solution tailored just for you. So that while Thales focuses on the processes, you can focus on ensuring safety in your national airspace.