AAI to set up high-tech R&D and training facility in Hyderabad
New Delhi: In a bid to develop in-house capabilities in air navigation services, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has tied up with a renowned American technology provider to set up a high-tech research, development and training facility in Hyderabad.
The proposed technical centre would provide comprehensive laboratory capabilities to support AAI's daily air traffic management operations and maintenance, besides carrying out performance analysis and R&D.
The AAI and the MITRE Corporation last week signed two agreements to establish the Hyderabad centre and for transfer of technology and knowledge.
Among this would be a sophisticated technology to train air traffic controllers (ATC), called 'Human-in-the-Loop' (HITL) computer simulation capability, AAI officials said.
HITL simulation is a virtual, real-time ATC simulation that requires human interaction with airborne and ground automation to manage air traffic in an operational scenario. It helps identify ATC problems, develops solutions for them and achieving cost-efficient deployment of the new solutions.
A real world example is the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) use of HITL simulation, developed by MITRE, to allow ATC personnel test new automation procedures by directing simulated air traffic while monitoring the impact of new procedures to be put into action.
MITRE is also offering its portable ATC simulation system that can be used to train personnel at any location with the use of a few laptops.
AAI, which has partnered with MITRE since 2006 for many of its Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS-ATM) activities, is the first sponsor of MITRE for HITL Technology.
By virtue of this, AAI becomes only one of the very few advanced aviation research organisations in the world to possess such a capability, the officials said.
Observing that the MoUs with MITRE would develop and strengthen the much-needed research base for his organisation, AAI Chairman V P Agrawal said the airports body has already made substantial improvements in CNS-ATM infrastructure to cope with the growing traffic demands.
The technical centre would pave the way for AAI to ensure inter-operability among diverse systems, financial, technical and operational feasibility of new CNS-ATM solutions and proper return on investment.
The agreements were signed by AAI Board's Member (ANS) V Somasundaram and Gregg Leone, MITRE's International Director.
Somasundaram said the agreements were AAI's strategic move to develop long term relationship with MITRE for technical support and knowledge transfer in areas of planning and implementation of CNS-ATM.
Leone said the two agreements would support AAI's mission of enhancing safety, efficiency and capacity of its airports and airspace.