ATM Modernization

Europe Tackles SSR Code Crunch

By | February 28, 2007
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Eurocontrol has launched the Centralized SSR Code Assignment and Management System (CCAMS) implementation project to deal with current and future shortages of secondary surveillance radar (SSR) codes used by air traffic control.

SSR code shortages, caused by an overall increase in air traffic and a rise in traffic to new destinations within Europe, “are becoming a limiting factor to future growth in European air traffic levels,” Eurocontrol said. The 37-member state organization recently reported that flights in January had increased by 5.6 percent from January 2006, outpacing the projected average annual increase of 4 percent.

As its antenna rotates, SSR acquires encoded, identification data by interrogating aircraft transponders.

Eurocontrol said the current system of codes based on national allocation is running short on codes at peak times in some parts of Europe. CCAMS, consisting of a central server, will provide a unique code for each civilian flight operating within the region and will automatically distribute it to the concerned ATC units.

ATC units will join the system in three implementation phases from 2008 through 2011. The first implementation phase covers the East European and Mediterranean states.

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