The Austrian high-tech company Frequentis AG has supplied new voice communication systems to four French airports: Le Bourget, Ajaccio, Metz Nancy Lorraine and Saint Denis de la Réunion. The solutions all entered successful operation within a few months of each other.
The four airports took receipt of the Frequentis 3020X Voice Communication Switch for their air traffic control towers. The four 3020X solutions vary in size between 4 and 15 working positions, depending on the needs of the relevant airport. Each combines telephone and radio resources within a single system. Engineering training took place at the Frequentis training centre in Vienna, and operator training was held on site prior to going operational.
Located at an equal distance between the cities of Metz and Nancy, this airport complements the communication knot formed by the Paris/Strasbourg road and TGV Est high-speed train routes. The airport fulfils a traditional role managing air traffic to and from the eastern part of France. However, an additional important mission for the controllers is to coordinate civil air traffic with military flights at the Nancy Hochey air force base. The new VCS at Metz Nancy Lorraine went operational in March 2009.
This overseas French airport is located in the Indian ocean, south east of Madagascar. Its role is to cover the second-largest air traffic control zone, with a 1500km radius extending up to the Comoros. The largest zone is the one at Tahiti. St Denis was selected by DSNA as a pilot site for overseas ADS-B operational tests. The new VCS entered service in April 2009.
Located on the west coast of Corsica, Ajaccios 1.1 million passengers make it the 11th busiest French airport. DSNA selected Ajaccio as a metropolitan airport for technical testing of ADS-B functionality in the context of Eurocontrol Christalmed experimentation, allowing radar detection below 4000 feet in Ajaccio bay. The airports new VCS went operational in October 2008.
Located a few kilometres from the Roissy Charles de aulle airport, Le Bourget is the 13th busiest French airport, and the busiest for business air traffic. The airport is a special case because the number of control positions doubles during the Salon Aéronautique du Bourget, in order to handle security and coordination with the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport. The technical architecture of Le Bourgets VCS system is quite different to that of other sites. It uses multiplexer and optical fibre for connecting to remote equipment, with incoming and outgoing radio communication kept separate. Le Bourgets new VCS went operational in February 2009.