Duterte inaugurates new air traffic management system

By Jelly Musico

January 16, 2018, 9:18 pm

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday inaugurated the new Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems that will put the Philippines’ aviation infrastructure at par with its neighbors in Asia.

In his speech, President Duterte described new CNS/ATM systems as an important milestone in the modernization and expansion of the country’s aviation program.

“I am happy to join you today (Tuesday) as we launch the CNS/ATM Systems. This is the answer to the call for a much needed infrastructure to upgrade the country’s inadequate and aging navigation system which lagged behind those neighbors in the region,” the President said.

Duterte thanked Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for financing the CNS/ATM Systems project that will enhance safety, reliability and efficiency of the air traffic service in the country.

“Through the efforts of the DOTr and CAAP, we are able to complete this project by end of last year and expected to be fully operational this year,” he said.

He said the new air navigation system will also complement the “Build Build Build” program and will usher an unprecedented golden age of infrastructure development in the country.

As the government rolls out more big ticket infrastructure initiatives in the next months, President Duterte has asked the Filipino people for more patience, understanding and support.

“Through the cooperation of our people and private partners, we can ease our transportation woes and pave the way for a more industrialized Philippines,” Duterte said.

“As we regained the people’s trust in the government, in our anti-criminality and anti-corruption initiatives, we can look forward to the implementation and completion of major infrastructure projects that will bring us closer as people and enhanced the quality of life for our Filipinos,” he added.

With the completion of the CNS/ATM Systems project, travel time to airport destinations will be reduced since the new systems will address Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)’s problem on airspace capacity, safety and efficiency and air traffic congestions.

The new CNS/ATM Systems project is financed by JICA under a PHP10.8 billion loan agreement between the Philippines and Japan.

Under the project, aviation infrastructure have been established to more than 40 airports, air navigation and air traffic control facilities around the country.

The major aviation infrastructure facilities include Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) and 10 new radar facilities in Laoag, Aparri, NAIA, Bacolod, Kalibo, Mactan, Mt. Majic-Cebu, Palawan, Davao and Zamboanga.

The new radar facilities will provide 70 percent surveillance coverage of the Philippine airspace, using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology in Manila.

The new ATM system is based on the sophisticated four dimensional trajectory calculation of the aircraft.

It has capability of leading-edge Multi-Sensor Tracking System (MSTS) that processes information from different types of sensors.

The new system also provides various computer-aided safety measures in air traffic control and enhances safety through reduction of controller/pilot workloads and human errors.

According to the CAAP, the improved surveillance coverage is vital to air traffic safety and will greatly increase the Philippine airspace capacity.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, meanwhile, said with the completion of the new CNS/ATM systems, diversion of flight to Clark Airport “is now the thing of the past.”

“When President Duterte assumed office, there are only three radars for entire country but as we speak today, we have now 13 radars all over the country including Zamboanga,” Tugade said. (PNA)