CAAS, Thales kick-start open ATM system architecture R&D

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Thales have signed an agreement to conduct research and development (R&D) for an open ATM System architecture of the future.

The agreement was signed by Kevin Shum, director-general, CAAS, and Alex Cresswell, Thales executive vice president, land and air systems, on the sidelines of the World ATM Congress in Madrid.

This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the two organisations in February 2018 to cooperate on developing new concepts of operations for ATM as well as the next generation of ATM technologies.

Under the research collaboration agreement, CAAS and Thales will work together over the next 20 months to design and develop the open ATM system architecture, which will present a shift in operational capabilities and robustness. An open ATM System architecture is modular, scalable and supplier agnostic. It therefore enables greater flexibility and new ATM innovations to be integrated at an accelerated pace.

Most commercial ATM systems need to take into consideration the compatibility and complexity arising from the integration with third party ATM systems. An open architecture would provide more flexibility and ease for integration of the required modifications and changes in a multi-ATM suppliers or systems architecture.

“Air traffic is anticipated to grow in complexity in the region, and this will place unprecedented strain on air navigation service providers (ANSP). ANSPs must be agile in adapting to the ever changing landscape and plan ahead of the curve. We are pleased to collaborate with Thales and be the first ANSP in the world to carry out such in depth research and development on an open ATM system architecture, which will be a cornerstone of Singapore’s future ATM system.”

“It will enable Singapore to respond at an accelerated pace to the many changes in the aviation landscape. An open ATM system architecture will also benefit the ATM community and ANSPs who can tap on the R&D knowledge and architecture to level up their ATM systems and innovate improvements,” said Shum.

Cresswell added, “We will only be able to manage the increasing complexity in aviation by using digital technologies. CAAS and Thales as pioneers in the digital aviation field collaborate for the air traffic management of the future in Asia Pacific and we are proud to start research, with CAAS, on the feasibility of transitioning the system to an open architecture.”