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AAI inks pact to upgrade Air Traffic Management Communications and boost RCS airports

FTI_AAIAirports Authority of India (AAI) has signed a 15-year contract worth Rs. 945 crores with Harris Corporation for its Futuristic Telecommunications Infrastructure initiatives. Harris Corporation will serve as the prime contractor and systems integrator for the same. This initiative will upgrade network operations, enhance security, and improve the performance, reliability and quality of India’s air traffic management communications network, while reducing telecommunications costs. The contract was signed by Mr. A.K. Banerjee, ED (CNS-OM) and Mr. Rick Simonian, Vice President, Harris Corporation at the 6th U.S.-India Aviation Summit, at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai.

Commenting on the new initiative Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI, said, “India’s exponential air traffic growth is creating demand for new aircraft, air navigation technologies, airport security equipment and infrastructure. The Futuristic Telecommunications Infrastructure provides a dedicated nationwide telecommunication network to support air traffic management operations, with an emphasis on safety and high reliability and the ability to expand for growth.”

AAI sources also informed that FTI Project will provide high availability SLA based Telecommunication links using latest technology equipment and communications infrastructure at each AAI location. Performance of all telecommunication links will be continuously monitored at Network Operation Control Centre (NOCC) at Delhi and Bangalore for various performance parameters to meet the global ATM application performance requirement. All Telecommunication links and each network equipment will be centrally monitored 24/7 for immediate response to fix any outages. Security Operation Control Centre (SOCC) at Delhi and Bangalore will protect the network from cyber threats. All service connections and each equipment will be security hardened, monitored, and safeguarded against intrusion 24/7 with constant system updates against latest security threats.

“This communication backbone infrastructure will also play a pivotal role in deployment of remote towers for managing air traffic services at RCS airports.In the long run the implementation of FTI network would result in enhanced Air Traffic safety, increase in airspace capacity by allowing the controllers to reduce the separation limits and accommodating the aircraft to more economical and environment friendly flight levels thus reducing the overall carbon footprint,” added the AAI sources.

Harris will leverage its extensive expertise from creating and managing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managed services network, which connects more than 4,400 national and international FAA and Department of Defense facilities, and enables the FAA to achieve its mission for safe and efficient air travel of more than 87,000 aircraft each day.

“The new secure, purpose-built network will meet the demands of India’s rapid aviation growth and lay the foundation for future ATM opportunities for Harris in other geographies with high air traffic growth,” maintained Rick Simonian, Vice President and General Manager, Mission Networks, Harris Electronic Systems.

AAI being the sole provider of air navigation services in the country controls and manages entire Indian Airspace covering 2.8 Million Square Nautical Miles (MSNM) (1.75MSNM over ocean and 1.05 MSNM on land and eneavours to take up the upgradation of ANS infrastructure along with modernization and upgradation of Airports in Tier-II & Tier-III in line with global trends.

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