in Features / ATM & Regulatory

Making tactical planning a priority

Posted 2 March 2017 · Add Comment

Managing air traffic safely and securely is a critical part of successful command and control operations. Keith Mwanalushi speaks to Dennis Miller, from Harris Corporation, to learn about the significance of tactical air traffic systems for Africa.

Global interest in the African defence industry, particularly in South Africa, is growing. This is evident from the upsurge in international interest in the continent’s defence industries, according to the organisers at the Africa Aerospace Defence exhibition (AAD).
During AAD 2016 in Pretoria, it was largely agreed that the development and supply of innovative products, in line with global trends, was the way forward for Africa.
Dennis Miller, director, business development, radar systems at Harris Corporation, said airspace authorities worldwide were calling on his company for tactical air traffic management (ATM) and precision-approach radar systems to support operations, both at large, established airbases and at smaller, tactical airfields, where mobility was a priority.
“Harris provides full radar-approach control capabilities, including primary and secondary surveillance and precision-approach radars, to address the full spectrum of customer needs,” said Miller. “These include long and short-range ATM for fixed-site, transportable and mobile tactical air operations.”
When comparing tactical air systems and commercial ATM solutions, Miller stressed that the two are, in fact, very similar. “Harris radars for military airfield operations are applicable to an airport or aerodrome environment. The key distinction is the ‘tactical’ element, which adds the mobility component, allowing the radar system to be easily transported from one location to another.”
Miller said the mobility aspect was something Harris specialised in and was a key discriminator from other air traffic solutions. The suite of Harris capabilities covers the full range of operational scenarios and provides the capabilities required to ensure the management of airspace around airbases, airports and airfields, even in the most challenging weather and low visibility conditions, he added.
The key attribute of these ATM systems is that they can be used for varied critical missions to control, for instance, trafficking, smuggling and poaching, as well as air defence and aid following natural disasters.
Poaching, in particular, is real problem. Conservation figures show that, in 2007, poachers killed 13 rhinos. By 2013, the annual death toll had reached a staggering 1,000, and they are now killed at a rate of about three per day.
Many of the tactical air traffic systems in sub-Saharan Africa have been in service since the 1980s and are no longer capable of meeting the demands of modern militaries, particularly when it comes to ensuring safety and continuity of operations during missions and in extreme conditions.
“Our current focus is on South Africa but we strongly believe this focus will directly benefit other African nations,” Miller stated.
With that said, he recommended solutions that are directly in line with the South African Air Force (SAAF) stated missions, which include air traffic control services, air defence, and surveillance. “Harris is able to meet these critical mission operations with a combination of radar solutions,” he said.
Some of those solutions include tactical air surveillance radar (TASR), ground control approach/precision-approach radar and primary and secondary surveillance radar, as well as S-3D medium and long-range 3D surveillance radar.
African States face considerable challenges when maintaining aerial situational awareness. Miller believes South Africa plays a key role in generating interest in future development. South Africa is looking to increase multinational operations and provide opportunities for joint military exercises that will contribute to social and economic growth, as well as stability in the region.
“Their interests [Africa countries] are consistently under attack,” said Miller. “Aerial situational awareness will assist in protecting these interests.
“In addition to hostile threats, there is also the challenge of ensuring freedom of airspace navigation and being able to provide humanitarian aid or assistance when necessary. Air traffic management and air defence play a key role in overcoming these challenges.”
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

IATA Regional Aviation Forum opens in Nairobi

The IATA Regional Aviation Forum in Nairobi was officially opened this morning by Aaron Munetsi, director of government and international affairs – AFRAA.

IATA Forum: The importance of air transport in Kenya

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) presented its latest study on the economic value of air transport and tourism to Kenya at the IATA Regional Aviation Forum in Nairobi and identified opportunities for significant

EgyptAir in codeshare with United Airlines

EgyptAir has entered a codeshare agreement with United Airlines.

Desert dust’s open season on engines

Maintenance trends in Africa map the prevailing weather conditions. During the Harmattan season, for example, MROs usually notice a spike in engine-related events.

Ethiopian launches ‘Feel Addis’ app

Passengers flying Ethiopian with layover between 8 and 24 hours in Addis Ababa are set to have their end-to-end layover experience transformed in a whole new way with the launch of the airline’s digitised transit package dubbed Feel

Benefits from pan-African outlook

African aviation is prone to frequent change, according to AJW group sales director, Hafsah Abdulsalam.

TAA SK0104311219
See us at
Dubai AS BT2006211119AVMENA20 BT1309100620AVAFA20BT2207050320MEBAA BT2006260919