SITA has completed a vital upgrade to Brazils air-ground data link communications system as the country embarks on a major air traffic management modernization programme in advance of hosting both the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup in coming years.
Brigadier Ramon, Director General of the Brazilian Air Space Control Department (DECEA) said: DECEA is extremely pleased at the speed with which SITA has upgraded our existing Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System and ensured back-up services in case of any failure. It is vital for our air safety that we have a fault-tolerant aeronautical air/ground data link processor platform at the heart of our DATACOM air/ground communications system. This accomplishment further enhances our confidence in SITA as a trusted partner and one that will support DECEA to meet our future requirements as we continue with the execution of our plans to complete the modernization of the air traffic control infrastructure in preparation for growth particularly as the country looks forward to hosting both the World Cup and the Olympic Games. The original processor platform, supplied by SITA in 1995, had reached the end of its useful life. The further and complete modernization of DATACOM system infrastructure with ICAO Aeronautical Telecommunication Network compliant technology, VDL Mode 2 ground stations and expansion of VHF coverage is planned to be completed by 2011, according to DECEA plans. The DATACOM system, which includes 27 VHF data link stations deployed across Brazil, is used by DECEA to enable the exchange of Air Traffic Control data link messages between aircraft and its air traffic controllers. DATACOM also enables data exchange between aircraft and their airline operational centers to enhance and support aircraft operations through communications links in place with SITA. SITA, as the original supplier of the DATACOM system, is uniquely positioned to provide DECEA with backup services that allow that all ACARS traffic generated through the DATACOM network be routed in a transparent and seamless way to SITAs data link processors in case of DATACOM failure; this assures the highest service availability levels in Brazil. In parallel, SITA has also been contracted to upgrade DECEAs Digital-Automatic Terminal Information Service (D-ATIS) systems deployed at Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro international airports in addition to the central ATIS servers (CATS) which will allow expansion to other Brazilian airports. Akhil Sharma, SITAs Head of Air Traffic Management said: We are pleased to have met DECEAs demanding timescales for this initial system upgrade; this was achieved without disruption to the DATACOM service. As the only data link service provider owned by the airlines, SITA is well aware of the need to maintain the highest levels of service availability in Brazil to enhance flight operations and to ensure the delivery of ATC data link enabled applications such as Departure Clearance and Digital ATIS.