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Africa requires advanced technology to improve civil aviation

As African civil aviation is said to be five to nine times riskier than the global average, latest technological advances are highly applicable to Africa’s challenges around civil aviation safety. (Image source: moogs/Flickr)

Tellumat Air Traffic Management (ATC) has acknowledged the importance of promising technological advances in African civil aviation to enhance safety and cost effectiveness in regional air and ground security, for increasing the continent’s attractiveness as a sought after travel and business destination

Bennie Langenhoven, managing executive at Tellumat ATM, said that African aviation stakeholders should focus on improving global air transportation and air traffic management system by modernising the remote air traffic control (ATC) infrastructure in the continent.

According to him, an advance ATC technology can effectively ensure safety and security at multiple airports using fewer skilled air traffic controllers located at one control room, which will eventually reduce the operating cost over the time.

Langenhoven also noted the significance of energy-efficient LED airfield ground lighting (AGL) and technological advances in the areas of satellite-based navigation and solar power solutions to revamp African civil aviation.

He said, “The best LED solutions offer backward compatibility with traditional halogen lighting implementations, protecting airport investments while embracing the low cost of ownership of LED lighting technology.”

“In addition, leading solutions feature intelligent designs, incorporating advances such as software-based manageability and dual-purpose power line communications, which likewise look to the future while embracing cost efficiencies,” he added.

According to him, the use of the solar-power AGL solutions will stand African airports in good stead for their smart management of the solar energy feeding into batteries, bringing cutting-edge safety to smaller airports.

He also emphasised that African airports must keep an eye on initiatives like US’s NextGen and EU’s SESAR, projects to improve air and space transport, and improving remote control towers using cameras and data communication links.

“It has the potential to quickly improve air traffic safety in outlying areas, bringing more destinations into the fold of achieving the required safety standards necessary for airlines,” said Langenhoven.

Langenhoven stressed that cutting-edge navigational aid systems including radar, instrument landing systems (ILS), runway lights, precision approach systems, direction finders and weather observation systems are required to meet Africa’s needs for new installations to improve air transport.

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