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Commissioning of New Air Traffic Management System for BIA Operations

November 20, 2023

With the objective of developing infrastructural facilities at Bandaranaike International Airport, the Air Traffic Management system of BIA (ATM-BIA) has been replaced with modern technological features. The Air Traffic Management system of BIA was declared open on 20th November 2023. 

Bandaranaike International Airport handles thousands of Aircraft, serving as the main gateway for tourists and the citizens of the country. All these aircraft are controlled by the Air Traffic Controllers to guide them safely and efficiently within BIA airspace, using the support of a central system known as the Air Traffic Management System of BIA (ATM-BIA).
This central system integrates all the Air Surveillance Data such as the data from Radar systems and Air Traffic Services messages communicated with other international and domestic airports. After processing all this data, the system presents the controllers with a complete Air Situation Picture with all necessary Automated alerts, warnings, and a large number of dedicated system tools used for Air Traffic Management.  The new Air Traffic Management system has been implemented at Bandaranaike International Airport, to ensure uninterrupted, safe, and efficient management of Air Traffic within BIA Airspace.

This new ATM system introduced many major technological changes. For example, the Paper Based Flight Progress Data strips are completely replaced with Electronic Flight Strips which are fully synchronized among all Controller Working Positions. Hence, manual time-consuming processes such as Billing Functions have been fully automated, allowing controllers to dedicate their focus to a safer Air Traffic Control process.  

Similarly, the new system integrates, processes, and interactively presents the Air Traffic Controllers with a large amount of Flight Data which were not available in the previous system. The new system has been designed to serve at least 10 years and possibly beyond that depending on the regulatory developments. 

Addressing the media Major General (Rtd.) G.A. Chandrasiri, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited  said: ‘The engineers of Airport & Aviation Services Limited have managed this total project implementation in coordination with the Air Traffic Controllers, without using any external consultancy. The implementation of the project despite many challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a remarkable achievement of Airport & Aviation Services Limited. And it is an example of excellent collaboration of all stakeholders, including the Civil Aviation Authority, and Line Ministry, among many others. The total cost of this entire project is around 1.2 Billion Sri Lankan Rupees. This investment is directly made by Airport and Aviation Services Limited, which is recovered through Aeronautical and indirect Non-aeronautical revenue generated by the Airport. More importantly, the project ensures the contribution of AASL towards the development of the key economic drivers of the country such as the tourism industry and we will be able to provide our service uninterruptedly at this very critical economic juncture.