Nokia and Irish Aviation Authority deploy next-generation air traffic control network for the North Atlantic

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is responsible for the majority of the North Atlantic airspace, and had a requirement to to upgrade its air traffic control communications network to support migration from its legacy services to a next-generation network.  In order to meet this challenge, Nokia supplied its IP/MPLS networking products, specifically designed for this level of mission-critical application, as well as professional services, including integration and testing.

Nokia has today announced the successful deployment of the Irish Aviation Authority’s (IAA) next-generation air traffic control network at its new West Ireland disaster recovery center. The new, high-bandwidth IP/MPLS network will increase capacity and ensure smooth operation of new, more demanding air traffic control (ATC) applications. It will also provide support for legacy, non-IP applications, including end-to-end communications between radar stations. The IAA will also utilize Nokia’s professional services offering for network design, architecture, integration and deployment. Following successful deployment of the network, Nokia will continue to provide IAA with long-term support and maintenance services.

Billy Hann, Director of ATM Operations and Strategy for the IAA, said: “Given our responsibility to ensure the smooth operation of the North Atlantic airspace, it has been crucial that Nokia earn our trust. The quality and reliability of its technology and the thoroughness and collaborative approach of its teams has been first class throughout the entire migration process. We are very pleased and confident in the performance of the new network.”

The network was deployed in early 2019 and is currently in service. It has successfully carried out a number of live trials across multiple airspace sectors in the key North Atlantic region, delivering critical voice and radar services to controllers over the new Nokia IP/MPLS platform.

The successful deployment of the network precedes the expected doubling of global air traffic by 2030. The North Atlantic airspace is one of the most crowded airspaces in the world and the IAA will need more capacity as traffic grows. Modern ATC management applications can scale to meet the demand but require a different kind of network connectivity based on IP, such as Nokia’s IP/MPLS.

Jochen Apel, Head of Global Transportation, Nokia, said: “From the initial proof-of-concept through to the final deployment and launch of the new network, we have been impressed and pleased to work closely with the IAA on this highly-critical application. Working side-by-side with its team, we ensured that the new IP/MPLS network seamlessly migrated all of its legacy applications and supported the new applications with the highest standards of reliability.”

The Nokia-IAA deal is critical to the IAA’s roadmap to seamlessly migrate critical services to a fully operational next-gen network. The IAA plans to continue its work with Nokia, from design to deployment and into the future.