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$58m revamp for air traffic systems

NZN 7/03/2017 Rebecca Howard

Airways New Zealand announced plans to replace its current air traffic management platforms in a $58 million project over the next four years.

The state-owned enterprise has awarded a contract to global science and technology company Leidos to collaborate on software development and the Leidos Skyline X system will replace Airways' two existing ATM platforms which were installed between 2000 and 2003.

The system is expected to become operational in New Zealand's domestic airspace in 2020 and in oceanic airspace in 2021, Airways said in a statement.

Chief operating officer Pauline Lamb said the new system will allow Airways to implement a new operating model as well as take advantage of advances in tools to optimise the air traffic system and staff deployment.

"By 2020 the new platform will allow airspace sectors to be operated from two new air traffic control centres in Auckland and Christchurch, in addition to 19 control towers nationwide," said Ms Lamb.

The development of the system will be a collaborative project between Leidos and Airways' software development teams, with Airways purchasing the hardware and installing and testing the system.

This successful partnership model previously saved Airways' customers around $2.6 million per year or $36 million across the life of the current ATM platform.

"Air traffic is forecast to grow by 50 per cent over the next decade. The expertise of Leidos and the ongoing development of our SkyLine X technology will support Airways New Zealand in their continuing effort to deliver safe and efficient air traffic management to meet the increased demand," said Leidos civil group president, Angie Heise.

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