President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, January 16, led the launching of the new Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems that would beef up the country’s air traffic service.

“This is the answer to the calls for a much-needed upgrade in our country’s inadequate and aging air navigation systems which lags behind those of our neighbors in the regions,” the President said in his speech in Pasay City.

The Chief Executive said the project, which is expected to be fully operational this year, would enhance the safety, reliability and efficiency of the air traffic service in the country.

He further noted that it is an important milestone in the modernization and expansion of the country’s aviation program and would complement his administration’s Build, Build, Build program.

President Duterte expressed gratitude to the government’s Japanese partners, particularly the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for funding the project.

At the same time, Duterte sought for the public’s patience, understanding and support as the government plans to roll out more big ticket infrastructure projects in the following months.

“Through the cooperation of our people and our private sector partners, we can soon ease our transportation woes and pave the way for a more industrialized Philippines,” he said.

“As we regain the people’s trust in government through our anti-criminality and anti-corruption initiatives, we can now look forward to the implementation and completion of major infrastructure projects that will bring us closer as a people and enhance the quality of life of all Filipinos,” he added.

The P10.8-billion project works by sending satellite signal to aircraft transponders and by using transponder transmissions to determine precise locations of aircrafts in the sky.

The new system, which include a computer-based flight data processing system, aims to enable aircraft operators to meet their planned times of departure and arrival while also adhering to their preferred flight profiles with minimum constraints and without compromising agreed levels of safety.

The new Air Traffic Management (ATM) system provides various computer-aided safety measures in Air Traffic Control (ATC), and enhances safety through reduction of controller/pilot workloads and human errors.

It would introduce Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) and Air Space Management (ASM) functions, which optimize the use of airport capacity as well as the efficient use of airspace, thus minimizing delays and allowing more flexible and user-preferred air-route selection.

The project established an aviation infrastructure to more than 40 airports, air navigation facilities, and air traffic control facilities nationwide, from Basco, Batanes in the north to Sulu in the south. PND

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