|Diagram of ADS-B satellite tracking coverage. Photo: Aireon
[Avionics Today 02-05-2015] The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Aireon have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to enhance aircraft tracking in the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR). Through this collaboration, Aireon aims to work with CAAS to enhance surveillance coverage over the entire Singapore FIR with the deployment of a space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) service.
Late last month, AirAsia flight QZ8501 disappeared from Indonesian airspace en route to Singapore, just outside the Singapore FIR; with the deployment of the space-based ADS-B service, the real-time positions and en-route status information of all future ADS-B equipped aircraft flying within the Singapore FIR can be tracked
Furthermore, the ability to track all aircraft is one consideration to allow for the safe reduction in separation between aircraft, thus increasing airspace capacity. Currently, some parts of the Singapore FIR are not under surveillance coverage, such as remote areas and over the oceans. In such areas, Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) must provide a larger separation between aircraft to ensure safety of the aircraft and passengers.
The MOA lays the groundwork for collaboration on the enhancement of surveillance and better provision of air traffic services. This includes evaluating the requirements of the Singapore FIR and the region; developing the needed policies, standards and procedures for use of the space-based ADS-B service; and determining how best to implement the service to improve and harmonize the efficiency of Air Traffic Management (ATM) services in the Singapore FIR and the region.