Airservices Australia’s 2016-17 annual report said the company has executed a contract for the CMATS voice communication system (VCS) phase one.
"The VCS phase one is a key milestone for delivery of OneSKY, which will create a more resilient, sustainable and efficient communications system in the short-term to enable more benefits to be realised with the delivery of the full CMATS suite," the company's annual report said.
Work on the equipment rooms in Melbourne and Brisbane to support CMATS and VCS integration has also been completed, with Airservices Australia adding they are currently designing the Air Traffic Services Centres that will accommodate the operational elements.
With OneSKY transition activities planned to commence in 2018, the primary focus for the program in 2016-17 has been mobilising to ensure readiness for contractual execution and operational delivery.
Airservices is leading and managing the delivery of project AIR 5431 Phase 3, which was recently placed on Defence's projects of concern list. The Department of Defence said the project is a highly complex, inter-departmental project of national significance that has experienced some substantial challenges getting into contract and that the challenges revolve around issues with ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.
Under the project, Australia will be providing air traffic control services using the most advanced and integrated air traffic control system in the world, according to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Project AIR 5431 Phase 3 will acquire the Defence element of the CMATS that will be used for the provision of air base air traffic services (ABATS) to both civil and military aircraft. CMATS will replace the air traffic management and control systems at nine military approach control sites and 12 military towers around Australia.
AIR 5431 Phase 3 is being progressed jointly with Airservices Australia Future Services Division program, collectively known as OneSKY Australia, to acquire, sustain and operate a more harmonised national ATM (air traffic management) system. Airservices and Defence view OneSKY as an opportunity that is essential for the future performance of Australia’s aviation industry.
Defence has said the future national ATM system architecture will cater for greater collaboration between Airservices and Defence, and that procurement of a common system will increase seamless ATM capability with minimal risk and enhance national airspace security and contingency response.
AIR5431 Phase 3 also includes the provision of an Approach ATM automation simulator at the School of Air Traffic Control at RAAF Base East Sale and an operational maintenance trainer to be located at RAAF Base Amberley.
Thales Australia will work with Airservices and Defence to deliver this new system.