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Rohde & Schwarz IP-based Voice Communications System went live for New Zealand air traffic controllers

Rohde & Schwarz has deployed the quad-redundant CERTIUM Voice Communications System (VCS) across Airways New Zealand’s Auckland and Christchurch centres.

Airways and New Zealand are reaping the benefits of a new air traffic control (ATC) IP-based voice communication system following the successful ‘go-live’ on 29th October 2023.

CERTIUM VCS is enhancing Airways’ flexibility to manage their operations consistently across the country,” Managing Director of Rohde & Schwarz Australia, Gareth Evans said.

The system’s IP design and quad-redundant, distributed architecture enables voice communications to operate seamlessly across multiple locations.

“Being based both in the North and the South Islands, the system is highly resilient, with the capacity to transfer airspace control between a control centre and its local contingency centre,” Mr Evans said.

Tranche 2 of the project will see Rohde & Schwarz and Airways extend the new system to towers across the New Zealand ATC network, and Rohde & Schwarz Australia will continue to provide support and maintenance under a 15-year contract.

Airways Chief Information Officer Geoff Peck said the Rohde & Schwarz system will be extended to cover all of New Zealand’s airspace on any radio or console across the country.

“This was a very collaborative relationship, with the Airways technical team working very closely with Rohde & Schwarz developers and engineers to deliver a system tailored to meet our specific needs.”

Rohde & Schwarz Australia’s Head of ATC Programs Daniel Wang noted the achievement of the successful ‘go-live’ was all the more rewarding given the project’s scale, complexity and circumstances.

“A globally distributed engineering team ensured the meticulous design, integration, verification and validation of the system against approximately 1,000 requirements, with 20% needing software adaptations,” Mr Wang said.

“Pulling this together, while working across three time zones and coping with over 20 months of COVID-related travel restrictions is a testament to the success of the innovative approach we implemented and the trusted, collaborative working relationship Rohde & Schwarz and Airways have developed.”

Marius Münstermann, Vice President ATC at Rohde & Schwarz explained: “CERTIUM IP-based VCS is a flexible, cost-effective and innovative solution for all ATC voice communications needs, meeting established requirements for availability, reliability and safety. These attributes, coupled with the growing need for dynamic ATC scenarios with network-based sharing and distribution of operational resources across multiple locations also known as “Virtual Center” make it a very attractive proposition for other air navigation service providers operating in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.”