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AAI, Harris ink Rs 945-cr deal for futuristic telecom infrastructure

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday signed a Rs 945-crore deal with the Harris Corporation of the US for development of its futuristic telecommunications infrastructure (FTI) programme.

The 15-year contract was signed at the sixth edition of the US-India aviation summit, which began here on Thursday. 

According to PTI, the AAI said in a release that the implementation of FTI network in the long run would result inenhanced air trafficsafety, increase in airspace capacityand accommodating the aircraft tomore economical and environment friendly flight levels. 

Under this, all telecommunication links and each network equipment across the AAI airports will be centrally monitored 24/7 for immediate response to fix any outages. 

In April 2016, multiple radars and a vital VHF-radio link at Kolkata’s airport went off due to a glitch in BSNL network, giving jitters to the air traffic control officers. 

As part of the deal, Harris Corporation will serve as the prime contractor and systems integrator for the programme, which is to be implemented over a period of two years. 

Harris Corporation will upgrade network operations, enhance security and improve the performance, reliability and quality of the air traffic management communications network, while reducing telecommunications costs, the AAI said.

AAI chirman Guruprasad Mohapatra said that the futuristic telecommunications infrastructure provides a dedicated nationwide telecommunication network to support air traffic management operations, with an emphasis on safety and high reliability and the ability to expand for growth. 

The FTI project willprovide high availability of SLA-based telecommunication links usinglatest technology and communications infrastructure at each AAI location. 

Harris Electronic Systems’ vice-president and general manager for mission networks, Rick Simonian said that the new secure, purpose-built network will meet the demands of India’s rapid aviation growth and lay the foundation for future ATM opportunities for Harris in other geographies with high air traffic growth. 

Performance of all telecommunication links will be continuously monitored at network operation control centres (NOCCs) at Delhi and Bangalore for various performance parameters to meet the global ATM application performance requirement, while security operation control centres (SOCCs) will protect the network from cyber threats, the release said. 

The AAI said that all service connections and each equipment will be security hardened, monitored, and safeguarded against intrusion 24/7 with constant system updates against latest security threats. 

The new system will also play a key role in deployment of remote towers for managing air traffic services at RCS airports, according to the airports operator. 

Remote and virtual tower (RVT) is a new concept where air traffic service at an airport is performed somewhere else, thereby, dispensing with the need for a tower on its premises. 

A large number of airports are set to be connected under the government’s ambitious UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, and AAI has plans to deploy RVTs at some of these airports.

(Source: PTI)