Mongolia to host new ADS-B demonstration

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Mongolia is to host a two-day demonstration of automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) technology after the European Commission agreed to extend a project aimed at assessing the potential for datalink-based air traffic management in the Caucasus and central Asian region.

The EC’s Technical Assistance to the CIS states (Tacis) unit has granted approval for the Southern Ring Air Routes programme to continue until 15 October, in order to allow the demonstration to take place in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbataar.

Two MIAT Mongolian Airlines Antonov An-24 turboprops will be fitted with the ADS-B systems while a single ground station will be installed to receive downlinked position and aircraft status information. Equipment for the demonstration is scheduled to be shipped by the end of this month.

“The Mongolian CAA had made a request for a limited ADS-B demonstration in Ulaanbataar,” says Southern Ring project director Sture Ericsson. “The [Southern Ring] management looked favourably upon this request and, since the Swedish CAA was willing to co-operate regarding necessary equipment, it was decided to approach Tacis with a request to extend the project.”

Mongolia is set to become an important crossing point as traffic increases on transpolar routes from North America to Asia-Pacific destinations and is keen to explore the potential of ADS-B to improve air traffic surveillance.

Ulaanbataar’s main area centre is already capable of carrying out ADS-C – whereby air traffic controllers specifically transmit a request for an aircraft to downlink certain data – but this is mainly used as a backup to procedural air traffic control.

The Mongolian ADS-B demonstration is set to take place on 25 September. It follows a similar demonstration conducted in the Caucasus cities of Tbilisi and Baku in March this year which involved equipping Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154 aircraft as well as Mil Mi-8 helicopters with ADS-B systems.