Thursday, June 02, 2005

Digital SMS to deal with Air Safety

[Via Mid-Day]

The Indian Mumbai Air Traffic Control (ATC) has installed a state-of–the-art facility which will slowly ease out voice communication with a pilot. Instead, the ATC will contact pilots through...uhhh, digital text messages. Apparently, this will ensure that the pilot gets all the commands and messages from the ATC without glitches, ensuring safe air travel. The system will open on June 7 and after all the required testing of the equipment is done, Mumbai will be the first airport in the country to have it. Anil Kumar, GM, (communications) Airport Authority of India (AAI) said,

In the current voice system, the ATC did not have direct contact with the pilot when the aircraft was on high seas. The ATC would relay a message to a radio operator who in turn would radio the message to the pilot of the concerned aircraft. The return communication was also through the operator. However, the system cannot be used while landing or takeoff.
According to Kumar, the CPDLC system will eliminate the radio operator and there will be direct communication between the pilot and the ATC.
The ATC can type in a message on a console and send it to the pilot in the cockpit. The message would be transmitted directly via satellite to the concerned aircraft,
Kumar said.
However one of the major drawbacks of the new system is that airlines have to also install the expensive system. That means more money in the developer's pockets. Nice deal...


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