Indra and Microsoft migrate air traffic management to the cloud

8 May 2020

Indra and Microsoft have successfully completed the first phase of the project to locate and operate from Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

This milestone strengthens Indra's strategy that already has solutions based on private cloud platforms in collaboration with iTEC Alliance, which is a membership of air navigation service providers of Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Poland, Norway and Lithuania. Indra is the provider and technology partner of this alliance.

This new step taken jointly by Indra and Microsoft will enable air traffic systems to be transferred to a public cloud for the first time. It will enable air navigation service providers to benefit from the advantages of having their systems in the cloud together with infrastructure cost-saving and at the same time benefit from state-of-the-art cybersecurity protection available and updated at all times.

Air traffic management systems located in the cloud will enable a control center to take over from another center in a contingency and will ease the centralization of some functions, which will result in streamlining the infrastructure needed for the provision of the service.

Moreover, it opens the door to creating supranational control centers that provide temporary service for those countries where infrastructures are non-existent or damaged due to natural disasters, as has happened in the Caribbean or in Southeast Asia over the last few years.

In the present circumstances, it is of the upmost importance to have these alternatives available that allow system decentralization together with the highest safety standards. In the future, air traffic controllers might be able to provide their service remotely.

Cloud platforms have a direct effect on transforming controllers' training and certification. Access to training will become easier, increasing training hours and reducing costs by combining advanced virtual reality techniques, already in use in Indra.

Following the outcome of this phase, Indra and Microsoft are examining the applications offered by cloud technology for other flight management areas, including communication systems – surveillance systems (radars, multilateration systems and ADS-B), navigation systems (ILS, GBAS), and others recently developed by Indra such as digital control tower and satellite surveillance and communication.
Currently, more than 160 air traffic control centers and hundreds of control towers across the world use Indra's air traffic management system. This system is at the heart of all navigation service providers' business.

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