One year of A-SMGCS Level 4 operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE

- Dubai, UAE.

Global Air Navigation Services (GANS) and ATRiCS, a member of the Frequentis Group, have delivered operational and safety benefits to Abu Dhabi Airports, since the implementation of the ATRiCS TowerPad system (T-PAD) on 7 March 2022, which applies Level 4 Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS).

The state-of-the-art tower automation system from ATRiCS has provided an unrivalled level of integration and delivered fully automated conflict detection and resolution between aircraft and vehicles on the surface of the airport, benefitting the various airline operators at Abu Dhabi International Airport, including its home-based carrier, Etihad Airways.

As the end-user providing aerodrome control services, GANS prepared the system and operational requirements, managed the project, produced the Method of Operations (MOPS) customised to the operating environment of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

GANS also conducted the training for its air traffic controllers and engineers, developed the safety assessment, obtained regulatory approval, and was actively involved in the airside trials and shadow mode testing prior to implementation.

In its first year of operation, the system has provided the airport with operational benefits, such as the reduction in the time of radio transmissions by an average of six seconds for each arrival and eight seconds for each departure, which provides the controllers with more time for planning and coordination tasks.

A notable safety benefit has been the reduction in the number of taxiway incursions that take place during the hours of operation of the “Follow the Greens”. Airfield Ground Lighting is now fully automated and controlled via the T-PAD. 

“The implementation is aligned with GANS’ strategy to adopt innovative technological developments to improve the services provided to customers. TowerPad continues to prove its abilities as it enables the increase in capacity as air traffic demand at Abu Dhabi International Airport continues to grow,” says Yahya Al Hammadi, GANS CEO.

ATRiCS T-PAD implements the Level 4 A-SMGCS functions for the routing service and guidance service by automatic switching of taxiway centerline lights and stop bars. T-PAD also provides the end-user with capabilities such as Integrated Controller Working position (ICWP), Floating Spacing (automated longitudinal separation) and Stripless Electronic Clearance Input.

“The roll-out of ATRiCS T-PAD at Abu Dhabi International Airport is the most advanced technology anywhere in Air Traffic Management,” stated Wolfgang Hatzack, CEO ATRiCS. “We are delighted to see Abu Dhabi Airports benefit from the long-term use of the system allowing the airport and airlines to benefit from fewer flight delays and shorter taxi time thanks to better predictability of arrivals and departures. As part of Frequentis OneATM, ATRiCS products are also being implemented in tower solutions, uniting market-leading technologies into one open ATM ecosystem.“

The TowerPad has been demonstrated on the GANS stand throughout this year’s Airport Show, Dubai.


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