Fiji Airports manages hundreds of thousands of trans-Pacific flights per year via 15 airports and an en route Air Traffic Management (ATM) Centre. The island nation needed a flexible voice communications solution (VCS) to provide the organization with reliable communications across multiple devices to handle growing air traffic demands.

To upgrade their air traffic infrastructure, the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF) turned to Harris’ Voice Over Internet Protocol Communications Enterprise (VOICE) ATM. The solution delivers reliable communications with operational efficiency between air traffic controllers and the airspace they manage. Completed in June 2018, the project is the first of its kind worldwide, able to deliver second-to-none radio quality during peak traffic and weather events like the heavy rain that the country commonly experiences during its wet season.

VOICE ATM delivers full end-to-end ED137 standards making the system interoperable with any radio anywhere allowing guaranteed integration between VCS, radios and voice recording systems. This allows CAAF to effectively manage air traffic across 6 million square kilometres of airspace and review air traffic operations while remaining compliant with industry standards. The solution integrates previously separate communication systems and radios while centralizing the regional airport management at Fiji’s main transportation hub in Nadi. All airports can be cost effectively managed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It helps in investigations, it helps in quality control, communication” said Fiji Airport’s Christopher Chand. “If a pilot wants to talk to a person on the runway itself, we could transfer that radio call to his mobile phone. It is state of the art.”

For the first time, operators can now seamlessly communicate with trans-Pacific planes for the entirety of the journey through Fiji’s airspace. Voting and steering technology automatically delivers controllers the best signal strength and, with VOIP, single points of failure are eliminated guaranteeing safer operations.

As the VOICE system at Fiji Airports continues to deliver benefits, the Harris team continues to look on toward the future of ATM.

“Flexible voice communications systems are the future of air traffic management,” said Kelle Wendling, Vice President and General Manager of Harris' Mission Networks Business Unit. “We must continue to deliver scalable technologies that allow ATC to manage large portions of airspace safely and effectively.”

The VOICE ATM installation for Fiji Airports marks the beginning of a VOIP VCS transition from hybrid to full IP systems in accordance with standards presented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). As the air traffic industry continues to see benefits from this new, mandated technology, the landscape of ATM will continue to change. Harris technologies are there to meet these changes and exceed air traffic demands with safe, efficient voice communications solutions.