ATM Modernization

Singapore is Ready to Explore Space-Based VHF Communication

By S.L. Fuller | July 13, 2017

East Asia viewed from space with connections representing main air traffic routes. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Elements of this image furnished by NASA

GomSpace A/S, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore Technologies Electronics Ltd. are set to explore space-based ATM, the parties said. The three entities signed a memorandum of understanding to study the application and deployment of very high frequency (VHF) communications for ATM in and around the Singapore flight information region.

"CAAS is committed to continually investing in cutting edge and innovative solutions to ensure that we can safely support the growing air traffic in the region,” said Kevin Shum, director-general of CAAS. “With this collaboration, Singapore will be the first country in the world to move toward space-based VHF communications. This technology will enable CAAS to improve traffic throughput in the Singapore [flight information region], while enhancing safety and efficiency of ATM.”

The three parties said they aim to enable “clear, cost-effective and real-time communication” between air traffic control and pilots. Having the technology would allow for safe reduction in separation between aircraft, where ground-based very high frequency communication is not available.

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