Sumitomo Corporation has formed a consortium with Thales Australia Ltd. , the Australian subsidiary of leading French electric company Thales SA, to deliver $100 millions worth of next-generation air traffic control systems for the Philippines' Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC)'s Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management System (CNS/ATM) project.
The company won from among three other bidders that were invited by DOTC for the supply/installation of new communications/navigation and air traffic management systems .
The invited bidders were Kanematsu Corp. and Selex Sistemi Integrati of Italy; Marubeni Corp. and Indra Sistemas, a Japanese-Spanish joint venture; Sojitz Corp. and Raytheon, also of Japan; and Sumitomo Corp. and Thales Systems, another Japanese joint venture, this time with a French group.
The introduction of the next-generation air traffic control systems has been divided into two packages and to be implemented in a phased manner.
Package one costs $100 million that covers for the supply and installation of air traffic management automation system and ATM automation center; communications; navigation signal monitoring system and meteorological system.
Components in Package 1 are Construction of a new air traffic control center building within the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines, and delivery of air traffic control systems (including systems for communications, aeronautical information processing, satellite signal monitoring, and weather) at the new air traffic control center and major airports in the Philippines (about 25 sites).
The project is set for completion within 30 months, or by May 2013. Sumitomo Corporation said it will aim to also win the contract for Package 2.
The second part that will cost $120 million is for the supply and installation of automatic dependant surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) ground station; en-route radar mode; terminal radar; VHF terminal and remote control air-ground communication facility; microwave link and very small aperture terminal or VSAT.
Components in Package 2 includes Installation of radars at major airports in the Philippines (about 10 sites), and delivery of communications equipment to connect the air traffic control center introduced in Package 1 with major local airports.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended a shift from traditional air traffic control systems, dependant on voice and radars, to a new system mainly based on digital data that uses geolocation satellites including GPS satellites.
In the meantime, the Philippines has been faced with the issue of aging air traffic control systems despite being in an extremely important position connecting Japan, China and South Korea with the ASEAN nations.
In the late 1990s, the Philippine Government decided to introduce a next-generation air traffic control system. The Japanese Government also considered this an ODA issue.
In 2002, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) concluded a contract to provide yen loans amounting to approximately 22.0 billion yen to the DOTC.
The completion of a safe and advanced air traffic control system with the support of the Japanese Government, preparing for the forecast increase in demand for air travel, will have great significance in terms of safety and efficiency not only for the Philippines, but also for nations around the world, including Japan.
Thales is the world's number one distributor of air traffic control systems. In fact, about half the airplanes flying worldwide are controlled by Thales' air traffic control system. With this project, Sumitomo Corporation will actively enter the field of air traffic control systems development, partnering Thales and contributing to airline safety and efficiency across Asia.