17 December 2018
Pasay City – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) on 17 December 2018, held the cutover rites for the country’s new Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC).
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, National Security Council (NSC) Assistant Director General Lorenzo A. Clavejo, and CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco, attended the event held at the ATMC at the CAAP compound, MIA Road.
The new system, which was first inaugurated by President Rodrigo Duterte last January 16, 2018, will help improve ASEAN connectivity, enhance aviation safety, optimize Philippine airspace, reduce CO2 emissions, and promote greener skies.
Last November 15 and December 15, the Manila and Clark airspace radar approach control service was successfully transferred to the new ATMC, respectively. On April 2019, the Davao airspace radar approach control service is set to be transferred to the new ATMC as well, completing the transition of approach facilities to the new ATMC.
The integration to the new system will bring modernized facilities that will help the Philippines catch up to the aviation infrastructure of its neighbors. Among the new facilities that will be utilized at the Manila Control Tower, include a new Tower Cab Console, which is an upgrade from the manually-inputted flight progress strips and an Air Situation Display (ASD), which will provide seamless air/ground support to Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) in pre-planning and managing aerodrome traffic effectively.
Aside from these control tower upgrades, the new ATMC will also house the country’s Aeronautical Information Service (AIS), the Manila Aeronautical Data Communication Center (ADCC), and the Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center (PARCC).
A key unit of the AIS is the Flight Planning and Briefing unit responsible in managing the central flight plan of both domestic and international flights used to ensure that all flight plans filed and associated Air Traffic Service (ATS) messages are syntactically and semantically correct.
The Manila ADCC is responsible in connecting with other ICAO member states thru the four international data communication centers for the exchange of aeronautical messages and digital data.
The PARCC was transferred to the ATMC last February 15, 2018. With the transfer, the CAAP Search and Rescue (SAR) system was upgraded and now utilizes Rescue Coordination Subsystem (RCS) for the Search Planning System (SPS) and the PRISMA RCCNet, the latest SAR program being used by countries with advanced SARs.
The cutover rites held today formally transfers and begins the operations of the new ATMC as the CAAP continue to improve the country’s CNS/ATM system.
All of these Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) functions and features will allow for more heads-up in aerodrome traffic surveillance and in reducing the workload of ATCs, thus increasing situational awareness and efficiency of air traffic management.
With the integration, the country’s air transport industry will benefit from increased airspace flexibility, optimal air traffic personnel workload delegation, safer air traffic service provision, and better overall efficiency of the country’s aviation sector.