Australia to invest $409m to modernise air traffic control facilities


The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has unveiled plans to invest $409m to modernise air traffic control facilities for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

As part of the development, the ministry plans to upgrade facilities at 13 defence bases and five off-base radar sites across Australia.

Australian Defence Assistant Minister Michael McCormack said: "AIR 5431 Phases 2 and 3 Air Traffic Management and Control System Facilities and Australian Defence Force Air Traffic Control Complex Infrastructure Project is a joint programme between Defence and Airservices Australia.

"This project will upgrade Defence's air traffic control towers and airfield systems complexes that are aged, deteriorated and no longer fit for purpose, as well as provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the OneSKY initiative."

"This project will upgrade Defence's air traffic control towers and airfield systems complexes that are aged, deteriorated and no longer fit for purpose, as well as provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure to support the OneSKY initiative."

The OneSKY programme is aimed at the development of a single civil-military air traffic management (ATM) system to help streamline infrastructure and processes between military and civilian air traffic controllers in Australia.

Combined, the civil and military elements of the future ATM system are expected to support more than 200 operational air traffic control workstations deployed to multiple locations across Australia.

OneSky is scheduled to replace the current ATM system, the Australian Advanced Air Traffic System. It would be introduced through a phased transition from 2018 to 2021, and would help the country manage forecast growth of air traffic movement, of as much as 60% by 2030, minimising delays for travellers.

The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System was commissioned in the late 1990s. It has since undergone more than 200 incremental system modifications to address requirements of Airservices and the RAAF controllers.