The award of the new voice communication system contract is a major milestone for Frequentis and Austro Control, which continues decades of successful cooperation. Austrian technology company Frequentis will provide a highly innovative solution that will enhance Austria's air traffic control, in line with future requirements. Despite challenging COVID-19 conditions, the project is progressing according to plan, with initial site acceptance taking place in early July.
Austro Control is one of the leading Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in Europe, relying on state-of-the-art equipment and Frequentis. Both companies can look back on decades of successful cooperation.
Austro Control is already comprehensively equipped with solutions from Frequentis. The current project includes replacing the voice communication systems which are currently in operation. In connection with this, the nationwide voice and data network for air traffic control will also be replaced. In the final stage, this will enable the provision of voice communication for the operation of all controller working positions in Austria from one of two data centres.
"We are pleased to continue decades of successful cooperation with Frequentis”, says Valerie Hackl, Managing Director of Austro Control. “With this new solution, we are pursuing an innovative concept that guarantees Austro Control consistently provides highly available and reliable voice communication, now and in the future".
This innovation will be implemented in the form of a two-stage solution that enables the future provision of voice communication for air traffic control via two data centres (Virtual Centre Implementation).
The first phase includes re-equipping the air traffic control centre (ACC) in Schnirchgasse, Vienna, the second phase will be the expansion of the system in Schwechat, South West Vienna, to a second centre, which will serve the so-called "UNIT" working positions of all federal state airports throughout the course of the expansion, according to a planned stage three.
In the future, air traffic controllers' working positions throughout Austria will be able to operate voice communications from either of the two data centres. During the expansion of the system landscape, the network will also be further digitalised and modernised with frequency services. Aircraft radio frequencies will be made available as a virtualised service. Advantages for Austro Control are bandwidth savings in the wide area network and a very flexible and secure radio access via all Austro Control locations.
At the core of this project is the development of the latest generation of the Frequentis voice communication system, VCS3020X, allowing Frequentis to provide Austro Control with an efficient, state-of-the-art system. "During the course of our decades of proven cooperation, we have always found Austro Control to be an internationally recognised ANSP that is at the forefront of technology, playing a leading role in innovation. Austro Control is therefore a particularly important international reference for us", noted Norbert Haslacher, Frequentis CEO.
The ACC in Schnirchgasse is scheduled to be operational in 2020 - a first acceptance test was successfully passed at the beginning of July. This was made possible by the great commitment and dedication of both Frequentis and customer teams.
The Virtual Center and the Schwechat Tower will follow at the end of 2024. The entire project, including the controller working positions for the federal states’ airports, is to be operational by the end of 2025.