Airservices Australia has signed an advanced work contracting arrangement with Thales Australia for development of a single civil-military air traffic management (ATM) system.

The OneSKY programme will be undertaken in collaboration with the Australian Department of Defence. It aims to develop a harmonised civil-military ATM system to help streamline infrastructure and processes between military and civilian air traffic controllers.

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.

Airservices CEO Margaret Staib said: "This will allow us to provide operational efficiency improvements for future growth and ensure we are meeting the demands of our customers and delivering them value for money."

"This contract will allow us to provide operational efficiency improvements for future growth and ensure we are meeting the demands of our customers and delivering them value for money."

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: "This is an essential first step for the delivery of an important piece of national infrastructure that will ensure the continued safe and efficient management of our skies."

Australia’s acting Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said: "This will deliver safety and efficiency benefits, through shared access to common flight data.

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"Controllers will also be able to better manage the various mix of air traffic and create a seamless flow of national and international air traffic.

"It will also ensure that Australian aviation remains at the forefront of technologically advanced air traffic management and safety, while optimising newer technologies on modern aircraft to drive greater efficiencies and seek opportunities to improve environmental outcomes."

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 Royal Australian Air Force controllers.

Image: Thales Australia has partnered with Airservices Australia and the RAAF for OneSky programme. Photo: courtesy of Copyright Airservices Australia 2015.