Aviation leaders from across Asia Pacific have gathered in Christchurch this week to attend a seminar focused on aiding the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) surveillance technology globally.
Air navigation services provider Airways New Zealand is hosting the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) taskforce meeting and seminar, to be held from 14 to 17 April. This Asia Pacific meeting has attracted about 120 delegates, and is part of a series of ADS-B taskforce meetings run by ICAO around the globe.
Airways' Head of Safety Operations, Lew Jenkins, says seminar delegates are keen to hear how Airways is progressing in implementing multilateration (MLAT) and ADS-B surveillance technology, and to understand any learnings they could apply to their own jurisdictions.
"New Zealand has relied on ground based radar – primary and secondary – since the 1950s. Replacing this technology with satellite-based systems is now a key part of New Zealand's transport strategy through the Government's national airspace and air navigation plan 'New Southern Sky', which sets the roadmap for modernising the country's aviation system," Mr Jenkins says.
"Introducing ADS-B has allowed Airways to increase surveillance coverage by adding to our existing secondary surveillance radar network," he adds.
Airways has been at the forefront of ADS-B/MLAT development since 2009, installing multiple sites throughout the lower South Island to provide surveillance coverage for flights over the Tasman Sea and support the growth of international flights into Queenstown Airport. Expansion of the ADS-B network was completed in 2013, creating a coverage area of 220,000 square kilometres across some of New Zealand's most mountainous and remote terrain.
Airways is now poised to embark on a trial of ADS-B at Fua'amotu, Tonga. Playing a critical role in the development of ADS-B in the Pacific is part of Airways' focus on developing strategies and services to enhance aviation safety, transport connectivity and sustainable growth in the Pacific region.
The aim of the Tonga trial is to test ADS-B surveillance, as well as the integration of data transfer via the PASNet aviation satellite communications network which is connected to Airways' Auckland Oceanic control centre.
This week's ICAO seminar has three phases – a Pacific Islands ADS-B workshop which will provide the Pacific Island states an overview of the ADS-B system; an ICAO seminar which will give New Zealand delegates an update on the ADS-B rollout programme; and the ICAO Task Force meeting for official ICAO country delegates.