On 27 September 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and SITAONAIR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the deployment of space-based Very High Frequency (VHF) voice communications for air traffic management (ATM) in the Singapore Flight Information Region.
SITAONAIR is part of the world’s leading air transport IT and communications specialist, the SITA Group, and it provides solutions for ground and inflight connectivity, cockpit data services and air traffic management solutions, aircraft communications and infrastructure solutions, as well as application development for both passengers and crew. As part of this MOU, SITAONAIR will contribute to various studies focusing on dual voice and data capability. SITAONAIR will also engage the industry to explore the implementation of unmanned aerial platforms which would hover around 60,000ft above the earth’s surface, in the stratosphere. This solution could potentially be an alternative to a space-based approach to serve high-traffic routes and regions.
On 24 September, CAAS and Thales announced the establishment of a SGD 30 million (USD 22 million) Joint Aviation Innovation Research (AIR) Lab in Singapore to drive innovation in new air traffic management (ATM) technologies. Previously, in February 2018, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on developing new Concepts of Operations for ATM, along with the next generation of digital ATM technologies. In March 2019, a follow-up agreement was signed at the World ATM Congress in Madrid to conduct research and development for an Open ATM System architecture.
The Lab will focus on the development of an Open ATM System architecture minimum viable product as its immediate priority. This project will be a key enabler for CAAS’s next-generation ATM system. This initiative is supported by the Aviation Transformation Programme (ATP), which seeks to develop innovative ATM solutions for Singapore. The AIR Lab will also provide a platform for multiple stakeholders, including Singapore enterprises with complementary capabilities, to collaborate on these new technologies and develop corresponding prototypes.
(Sources: Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore)