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ERA WAM System Certified for Air Traffic Control in Newcastle Airport Area

3 October 2013

Pardubice, Czech Republic, October 1st, 2013 - ERA’s Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system around Newcastle International Airport has been certified for Air Traffic Control by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

The main purpose of the system is to provide Air Traffic Control (ATC) services including radar separation from 5 nautical miles (NM) up to 90 NM, out of Newcastle International Airport as a replacement for the local Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR). An additional three airport sensors enhance the WAM function providing a Vehicle Tracking System on the airport surface. ERA was awarded the contract for its deployment following a tender process in 2011. The Civil Aviation Authority approved the operation of the WAM System for Newcastle International Airport Ltd. Company (NIAL) in August 2013. Newcastle Airport can use MLAT surveillance to increase air traffic safety by employing the same processes as a traditional radar system. ERA already had one operational WAM system at East Midlands Airport, but only as a complement to the operational SSR. The newly certified system can operate independently without any support of active radar and is hereby a full-fledged replacement. 

Richard Knight, Operations Director at Newcastle Airport, said: “This is an important project which ensures that Newcastle International Airport has the best available technology. This alongside significant investments, such as a new Instrument Landing System (ILS) and ongoing investment in the Air Traffic Control Tower demonstrates the airport’s commitment to safety and progress.” 

WAM Newcastle is a multilateration and ADS-B system dedicated to providing surveillance of both Mode A/C and Mode S/ADS-B targets and providing output data into the data fusion to support the Indra ATC Display System and the Noise Monitoring System. WAM Newcastle is based on Distributed Time architecture and consists of 9 Ground Stations (Receiving Stations, combined Receiving/ Transmitting Stations, a Reference and Monitoring Transponder) and Central Processing Station. 

In addition, Newcastle Airport can utilise 24 SQUIDs delivered by ERA. SQUID, the small ADS-B squitter beacon, improves airport safety by continuous broadcasting the exact position of ground vehicles and minimizes the risk of their collisions, particularly during low visibility conditions. 

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