Company to supply 57 stations across the country to be operational before end of 2005

Thales Air Traffic Management (ATM) has won Airservices Australia's contract to install automatic dependent surveillance- broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations throughout Australia in the largest deployment of the technology ever planned.

Thales will supply 57 ADS-B ground stations to be located at 28 sites in all states throughout Australia, with the stations to be operational before the end of 2005. Under the terms of the contract, to be announced this week, Thales will provide logistic support for up to 15 years in addition to training, spares and a software test and development system.

This is the first major ADS-B win for Thales, which beat Sensis to the contract. Sensis supplied the ADS-B ground station at Bundaberg in Queensland that is being used by Airservices Australia in an operational trial of the technology involving regional and general aviation aircraft. Thales supplied Australia's national ATM system - the Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAAATS).

ADS-B will provide radar-like surveillance services above flight level 300 (30,000ft/9,150m), providing air traffic controllers with GPS position, altitude and speed information via TAAATS. In addition, it will enhance coverage of aircraft below 10,000ft near the ground stations. ADS-B is expected to provide safety and operational benefits, with much of the country - with the exception of the eastern seaboard and airspace over major cities - now subject to procedural control services.

Australia is the first to deploy ADS-B across an entire country and the programme is expected to accelerate implementation of ADS-B in other parts of the region.

Source: Flight International