Singapore to Explore VHF Communications for Air Traffic Management
GomSpace A/S, a subsidiary of GomSpace Group AB, together with The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Electronics), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the application and deployment of space-based Very High Frequency (VHF) communications for air traffic management in and around the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR). Kevin Shum, director-general of CAAS, Tang Kum Chuen, president of ST Electronics’ satellite systems business, and Niels Buus, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GomSpace signed the MOU on the third day of the World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Program (WCACEF).
According to the parties involved, space-based VHF communications represents the next level of communications capability, and will complement Singapore’s existing ground-based equipment. VHF communications equipment can be mounted onto a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to enable clear, cost-effective and real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots. Gomspace believes the technology will improve safety and enable the safe reduction in separation between aircraft in airspace where ground-based VHF communications is currently not available, increasing air traffic management capacity and reducing delays for aircraft in turn.