Fraport chooses Sensis multilateration system

Fraport AG, the owner and manager of Frankfurt Airport, has selected Sensis Corporation to expand and upgrade its multilateration surface system to accommodate capacity expansion and growth of operational areas.
This latest-generation surveillance system for tracking the movement of aircraft and vehicles around the airport is vital because FRA will be inaugurating a new runway in October 2011 and the new Pier A-Plus at Terminal 1 in summer 2012 – plus additional ramp areas and a new Terminal 3 in the future.
Fraport chose to replace all existing Sensis multilateration sensors in use at the airport with the latest-generation sensors for precise surveillance of all aircraft and transponder-equipped vehicles operating on the airport surface. Frankfurt Airport was the industry´s first airport to select multilateration for surface surveillance, awarding Sensis a contract back in 1999.
Since then, the Sensis system has been expanded or altered several times to meet FRA´s changing geographic and traffic requirements.
The new 2,800-meter-long runway Northwest for bi-directional landings will complement the three 4,000 metre runways currently in use at FRA, eventually resulting in a 50 percent boost in total runway capacity in the coming years.
When the new runway becomes operational, FRA´s capacity will grow from 82 takeoffs and landings per hour to about 90 per hour. In the medium term, plans call for raising capacity to about 100 movements per hour by 2015 – ultimately to more than 120 per hour. With passenger traffic at FRA expected to surge by four to seven percent yearly, Frankfurt Airport could be serving some 65 million passengers per year within only four years.
“For more than ten years, the Sensis system has successfully grown and evolved with Frankfurt Airport, consistently providing Fraport apron controllers and DFS Deusche Flugsicherung air traffic controllers at FRA with the precise surveillance needed to handle the busy ground traffic at the world´s ninth busiest passenger airport,” said Fraport.
“Our massive capacity expansion with a new runway and terminal areas requires not only infrastructure but also dependable and leading-edge multilateration technology. This is part of our Operational Excellent program to ensure that infrastructure expansion, staffing, procedures and operational technologies are all expanded in tandem to handle the capacity and traffic growth volumes of the future. Sensis has been a long-time partner in helping us meet our operational goals under a tight timeline,” said Fraport.
Sensis multilateration uses multiple low-maintenance, non-rotating sensors to triangulate aircraft locations based on transponder signals to provide air traffic controllers with precise aircraft position and identification information regardless of weather conditions.
With a higher update rate and greater positional accuracy than traditional radar, Sensis multilateration provides effective surveillance for increased safety, capacity and efficiency of ground and airspace movements.
By employing advanced processing techniques, a Sensis multilateration system uses the minimal number of sensors for a less complex, lower lifecycle cost solution.
Additionally, each multilateration sensor deployed by Sensis supports Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B), providing an infrastructure that is ready for today´s surveillance needs and tomorrow´s avionics.
“Along with additional surveillance to accommodate the airport expansion, Fraport chose to refresh all the multilateration sensors on the airport for streamlined operations, training and maintenance,” said Ken Kaminski, vice president and general manager of Sensis Air Traffic Systems. “This solution, the largest surface system deployed by Sensis, will provide a flexible surveillance infrastructure to meet future airport growth.”
Almost 100 sites worldwide have chosen Sensis multilateration for airport surface surveillance, wide area surveillance and airport surface management.