ATM Modernization

Australia Puts ATC Projects on ‘Concerns’ List

By James T. McKenna | August 21, 2017
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Air Traffic Control Tower

Australia's ministries of defense and defense industries have major concerns about two key air traffic management projects and have placed them on a watch list with the goal of salvaging the initiatives.

The country's Ministry of Defence Industry and Ministry of Defense placed the two on the Projects of Concern last over worries about schedule delays and the initiatives’ ability to deliver promised value for taxpayers, according to an Aug. 18 statement. The statement cited two areas of concern for what is known as "Project AIR 5431": Phase 1 for a deployable defense air traffic management and control system and Phase 3 for a harmonized civil/military ATM system.

While the two phases are under the same Project AIR 5431, “there is no dependency between the two, and their inclusion on the Projects of Concern list is unrelated,” the statement said.

“This is a highly complex, inter-departmental project of national significance that has experienced some substantial challenges getting into contract,” statement added.

Phase 1 was awarded to Indra Australia in 2014, which is charged with delivering a mix of mobile and transportable air traffic control radars and supporting equipment to allow the military to control and monitor air traffic while deployed on operations. That phase “has experienced schedule delays since approval” in 2014 “and initial delivery is expected almost two years later than originally planned,” the statement said.

Phase 3 was approved in 2014, with the goal of delivering military aspects of a harmonized civil/military air traffic management system under the OneSKY initiative being led and managed by Airservices Australia.

The Projects of Concern list is part of a remediation process that the Ministry of Defence Industry said has salvaged “17 troubled projects with a combined value of around $17 billion.”

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