Julian Moxon/PARIS

FRANCE'S THOMSON-CSF has completed the second phase of Tahiti's new satellite-based oceanic air-traffic-control system, with delivery of the automated data-link component.

When complete in early 1997, the Tahiti system will be one of the main components of the South Pacific Future Air Navigation System (FANS) environment, covering an area bigger than East and Western Europe, and contributing to the introduction of flexible routing throughout the region. From April, FANS-equipped aircraft will be able to generate significant fuel savings by being flown on optimised routes. The system also provides for reduced separation.

Phase 1 of Thomson's VIVO (visualisation of oceanic flights) system was delivered in July, and consisted of an oceanic display system to display the flexible tracks in Tahiti's airspace, and to follow up flight plan and HF or VHF radio position reports. Phase 2 provides air-traffic-controllers with a high-performance channel for communicating with pilots. This uses the Aircraft Communication and Reporting System data-transmission system (operated by SITA and Arinc) and the Pacific West Inmarsat satellite to enable flexible tracks to be negotiated with aircraft while they are en route.

The system will be one of the first in the world, able to offer full automatic-dependence-surveillance (ADS) capability, in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation requirements.

Dynamic re-routing, will enable separations to be reduced to 55km (30nm), while improved routing will bring time savings, of up to 30min on a 14h flight. Thomson-CSF and Sextant are teamed through the Thomfans organisation, to offer ground and airborne FANS equipment worldwide. Tests of its ADS system for Europe are continuing, using British Airways and KLM Boeing 747s, and Air France and Lufthansa Airbus A340s. Operational introduction is set for 1998.

Source: Flight International