VoIP deployment in ANSPs. Integrated solution for voice communication in an ATC environment

One of the priorities for ANSPs is to increase the performance of the ATC voice communications in terms of quality and flexibility, but also on safety level were  the most stringent requirements  has been demanded by the National Safety Agency (NSAs) in the compliance of the applicable procedures coming from the Single European Sky regulatory framework.

ATC VoIP integration performed by GAELICAM is a product  baked with the long standing experience of GAELICAM in aeronautical communication networks and  continuous innovation strategy pioneering ANSPs in this filed, as well as the knowledge and expertise coming from its involvement in many European and worldwide projects and working groups.

Success ATC VoIP deployment can be achieved thanks to the use of ANSPs ATC IP networks that consits of transport and value-added elements that integrates data and voice communications for air navigation, providing coverage in all airports, Air Traffic Control (ATC) Centers and, in general, sites acting as source or destination of aeronautical information. It allows the interconnection of Communications, Navigations, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) systems within each ANSP, providing data and voice services with the required quality of service (availability, flexibility and security), as well as the interconnection of such systems with other ones belonging to other ANSPs and, moreover, any network for aeronautical purpose (regional networks as NewPENS, Datalink Service Providers, airlines, etc).

ANSPs ATC networks brings along  the following main and highly innovative distinctive features:

  • the most modern technology (MPLS) being deployed in the new generation aeronautical communication network;
  • dual-telco (telecom operator) infrastructure implementation to increase its availability.
  • ATC voice communication integrated in the new generation network by using VoIP technology.

As for VoIP, its integration into the network will overcome important drawbacks of the current analog infrastructure: technological obsolescence, the limited growth capability to cope with the capacity increase of ATS communications and the high cost of analog circuit renting. VoIP implementation in ANSPs offers a set of powerful features which provide interesting benefits for the ATS voice communications, basically:

  • Better voice quality  since it is based on digital technology, which leads to a safety increase.
  • Very high level of scalability and flexibility.
  • Exploitation costs reduction and optimization of the capacity/cost ratio.

Scalability and flexibility allow a quick and easy response to the demand of capacity increase as well re-configuration. In a Single European Sky context  the communication topology is quite more dynamic and the ease for re-configuration is a strong requirement, which is completely fulfilled by VoIP solutions. In case of severe problems in one specific ACC causing a long-term service disruption, ATS contingency plans will be activated and the nominal service of such ACC will be provided from another ACC in a transparent manner for the rest of ATS units (adjacent ACCs, TWRs, Eurocontrol NM, etc). In the current analog voice scenario the implementation of this strategy is complex, tedious and expensive, meanwhile in the VoIP scenario, the process is cheaper and, what is more important, quick and easy, improving the safety case.

Concerning cost savings, ANSPs are obtaining benefits of the migration to the new network. Upon having the whole infrastructure deployed and operational, a 50% saving is roughly estimated.

The VoIP solution in ANSPs has to be based on the progressive migration to VoIP end-systems (VCS and radios) which are compliant with EUROCAE standards to guarantee inter-operability with other stakeholders (airports, other ANSPs…).

As usual in an ATC scenario, not only the backwards compatibility of new systems is required, but an as seamless as possible transition that minimizes impact on operations. In order to cope with this challenge, the implementation of  VoIP gateways that allow the communication between VoIP and legacy systems in a transparent manner for both are required.

If you need consultancy support for implementing ATC VoIP services in your country do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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