THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on Monday said the country’s air traffic control system is on the path to modernization with the coming into operation next year of the P9.8 billion Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) facilities.
The revelation was made during the CAAP’s observance of the International Civil Aviation (ICA) Day which was was attended by Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Manila International Airport Authority general manager Ed Monreal, Philippine Airlines president Jaime Bautista and other airline stakeholders.
The ICA is annually observed to raise awareness of its importance and role that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) plays in international air transport. The organization is a United Nations body responsible for developing international standards for aviation safety.
During the observance of the ICA day, the CAAP explained that with the CNS/ATM, the global communications, navigation, and surveillance systems will be integrated to provide Air Traffic Control, Airspace Management, System Wide Information Management (SWIM) and Air Traffic Flow Management.
It also said that the CNS/ATM technology, which includes a computer-based flight data processing system, will enable aircraft operators to meet their planned times of departure and arrival and adhere to their preferred flight profiles with minimum constraints and without compromising agreed levels of safety. Furthermore, billing for overflights would be done automatically by computers so that there would no longer be lapses or flights that do not get properly billed.
The CNS/ATM system development project was first conceptualized 2000 in accordance with the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan.
The new system will cover the Philippine airspace and is expected to be operational soon after it was turned over to the CAAP by the Sumitomo-Thales Joint Project on January 2017.
The project, which begun during the Arroyo administration under the aegis of the ICAO, was supposed to be finished in 2005 but was rescheduled to 2007 and then 2010 until it was finally abandoned for lack of funds.
Since then neighboring countries have adopted the CNS/ATM but the Philippines remains one of the few countries that lack this high-tech, satellite-based air traffic and communications system.
In 2013, the Commission on Audit cleared the resumption of the aviation surveillance project to modernize the CAAP’s system.