Airservices Australia has switched to a new voice communication system at three facilities, a move the air navigation services provider (ANSP) called a milestone in its effort to modernize the country’s air traffic management (ATM) system.


The Civil-Military ATM (CMATS) voice communication system has entered operational use at the main Australian air traffic control facilities in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with the Brisbane facility scheduled to follow in early 2019. CMATS is a key part of the broader OneSKY program, which is intended to replace existing civil and military ATM systems with a common backbone technology.


The ANSP and the Australian Defence Department worked with industry partners Frequentis and Thales on CMATS. The system will handle all communications between pilots and controllers, and will improve safety, efficiency and system reliability, Airservices said.


“Achieving this milestone on schedule and with no disruption to existing services is an exceptional demonstration of how civil and military air traffic operations will work together,” Airservices CEO Jason Harfield said.


In addition, Airservices and OneSKY prime contractor Thales have completed the system definition review for the technical platform that will underpin civil and military ATM in Australia. The project will now move into the detailed design phase. Airservices and the Defence Department signed a formal contract with Thales in February.

Adrian Schofield,