Australian air traffic service provider Airservices Australia will announce the supplier of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations for a nationwide programme next month.

Sensis and Thales ATM were shortlisted late last year for the A$10 million ($7.7 million) programme that marks the first time a country has committed to nationwide implementation of the technology.

Thales ATM, which supplied the country's national air traffic management system, is remaining tight-lipped at the show on whether it is the successful bidder.

Airservices Australia plans to install 20 ADS-B ground stations across the country from late 2005 to provide radar-like surveillance separation services above flight level 300.


ADS-B is seen by Airservices as a cost-effective solution to the massive gaps in its radar coverage, with ADS-B capable of providing nationwide coverage at a tenth of the cost of radar, says Greg Dunstone,

The service provider selected Sensis and Thales from five bids. Dunstone confirms that Airservices has selected a supplier for the contract, but declines to reveal the identity until contract negotiations are completed, which is expected by 19 March.

Airservices is already testing ADS-B using one ground station, supplied by Sensis, at Bundaberg, Queensland. Royal Flying Doctor Service Raytheon Beech King Airs, Sunstate Airlines Bombardier Dash 8s and Energex community rescue helicopters equipped with Honeywell-Bendix King KT 73 transponders are automatically transmitting position and altitude information to Airservices' Brisbane control centre using ADS-B.

Airservices is eventually planning to extend use of ADS-B to lower airspace which would require equiping the GA fleet.

Meanwhile, ADS-B implementation planning is under way in the wider Asia-Pacific region, with an International Civil Aviation Organisation group to meet in March to discuss the implementation of ADS-B on major traffic flows in the region from 2006.

Source: Flight Daily News