06 Mar 2014


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The Luanda flight information region (FIR) over Angola is set to support aircraft using future air navigation system (FANS) data link avionics with the deployment of the SITA FANS system communicating via the SITA AIRCOM data link service. The technology is being implemented by Empresa Nacional de Exploração de Aeroportos e Navegação Aérea E.P. (ENANA), the company that controls civil air traffic in Angola.

The announcement, made today at World ATM Congress 2014 in Madrid, marks a new era of air traffic management in the region in line with ICAO recommendations for improving  communication, navigation, and surveillance in the Luanda oceanic FIR. Aircraft using FANS controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) will provide a more accurate way for air traffic controllers and pilots in this region to communicate during flight. In addition, automatic dependence surveillance contract (ADS-C) tracking will send aircraft positions to be displayed on the ground system with greater precision, in particular when radar coverage is unavailable. Both pilots and controllers will benefit from a reduced workload and greater confidence in the accuracy of information being transmitted between them.

Philip Clinch, SITA Vice President, Aircraft Solutions, said: “This move to FANS by ENANA brings Angola in line with other countries in the AFI (Africa Indian Ocean Region). SITA’s systems enabling datalink will allow for the improvement in the overall accuracy and reliability of information exchanged between the aircraft and the controllers on the ground. It will allow ENANA to provide more flexible routes to airline users, increasing Angolan Air space capacity and improving safety in oceanic airspace.

“SITA is a strong partner with global experience and we are committed to supporting ENANA, and the air transport community as a whole, to implement datalink for safer and more efficient air traffic management worldwide.”

Boeing FANS-1 avionics and Airbus FANS-A avionics provide ADS-C and CPDLC applications which improve safety by enabling more accurate information transfer between aircraft and air traffic control (ATC) operators. ADS-C improves the surveillance of aircraft by allowing automatic digital reports on positions to be sent to air traffic controllers without the need of any voice reporting from the flight crew. It is used in remote oceanic areas when radar is not available and HF radio voice communications are unreliable. 

CPDLC allows flight crew to send and receive standard ATC messages in a form similar to email which replaces routine voice communications between them and air traffic controllers. Studies have found that the availability of this second communication channel reduces errors caused by factors such as very high traffic levels, poor voice quality, fatigue or simultaneous transmissions.

ENANA joins GCAA, Ghana’s ANSP, in using SITA’s systems and services to comply with the ICAO regional regulations ensuring safer and more efficient skies across the continent of Africa.