Hi-tech communication for Chennai airport
By T. S. Shankar
CHENNAI, NOV. 30. The Chennai airport can now boast of having an Air Traffic Services (ATS) block equipped with hi-tech communication systems that meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards especially to cater for the futuristic needs of the latest fleet of `Fly-By-Wire' jets.
The Voice Control Communication System (VCCS) and the Automatic Message Switching System (AMSS) are the electronic communication gizmos now installed by the National Airports Division of the Airports Authority of India (NAD-AAI) at its new Rs. 27-crore Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower- cum-Technical block near the Indian Airlines cargo complex at Meenambakkam which is waiting to be formally commissioned.
The new VCCS is a mini-telephone exchange installed in the Area Control and Flight Information Centre and operated by Air Control Controller.
The system also acts as an effective inter-unit communication system besides establishing instantaneous contact with vital agencies which are connected with the aviation industry. For instance, if a duty Air Traffic Controller wants to alert the ``operational agencies concerned'' about an emergency landing of a commercial airliner, he could do so swiftly by touching a button, which would automatically call the official concerned to whom he could disseminate the information without delay.
The Regional Executive Director, NAD-AAI, Southern Region, Mr. S.R.R. Rao, and Mr. G. B. Subramanian, General Manager (Aerodromes), explaining the features of the ATS block, told TheHindu that while the VCCS replaced the three-decade old electro-mechanical switches, the AMSS provided a standard formatting and transformed vital aviation traffic services instantaneously from one station to the other.
Claiming that the new ATC tower provided a 360 degree vision, Mr. Rao said it was equipped with two fixed and one movable CCTV cameras, which also had zooming facilities to view the restricted operational area including the remote parking bays at the Anna international and Kamaraj domestic terminals.
The CCTV facility also provide the Air Traffic Controllers a clear view of what is moving under the highrise structure. ``We are also planning to have an infra-red lighting system for the CCTVs to be of great use during the night time also,'' the official said. The ground plus three- storeyed block had been designed in such a fashion to meet all the futuristic requirements of fast changing avionics, including conferencing facilities.
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