ATM Modernization

Eurocontrol MUAC Air Traffic Controllers Have a New Voice Communication System

By S.L. Fuller | October 24, 2017

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Photo courtesy of Eurocontrol

Eurocontrol has employed the use of a new voice communications system (N-VCS) at its Maastricht Upper Area Control Center (MUAC), Eurocontrol said. The system allows air traffic controllers to use a fully automated communications system.

The system was supplied by Frequentis and jointly produced by MUAC and France’s air navigation service provider, DSNA. Delivered on the basis of common functional airspace block Europe central (FABEC) specifications, the jointly procured system cut development and maintenance costs while increasing technical synergies between both air navigation service providers, according to Eurocontrol.

“In France, the N-VCS will replace, in the near future, the main and backup VCS currently in use in the five French area control centers (ACC),” said Maurice Georges, DSNA’s CEO. “The backup N-VCS will also soon replace the current radio backup operating at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. N-VCS deployment projects — first in Charles De Gaulle and Brest ACC — are underway. The Bordeaux ACC project has been launched in 2017.”

The system can also improve airspace management between countries or sectors. Eurocontrol gave the example that, with the system, one air navigation service provider could handle traffic crossing another’s airspace. The system also offers immediate benefits to the MUAC controllers, according to Eurocontrol. It supports re-sectorization, replacing the need to handover roles and frequencies orally with an automated system. The N-VCS also has automated multi-channel radio backup functions and enables more precise conflict detection with its new radio direction finder system. Furthermore, the system uses voiceover internet protocol, which offers improved security and better coverage, according to Eurocontrol.

The N-VCS project is co-funded by the European Commission through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which supports the development of trans-European networks in transport, energy and digital services.

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