Finland transforms air traffic surveillance with FREQUENTIS’ highly resilient Wide Area Multilateration system


Fintraffic Air Navigation Services (ANS) Ltd, the Finish Air Navigation Service Provider, has enhanced its air traffic surveillance capability with a WAM system from Frequentis Comsoft. The company installed its state-of-the-art Quadrant system to provide WAM and ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast) coverage for 80 per cent of the Finnish airspace.

Providing a high-quality air situation picture with highly accurate aircraft position measurements and high update rate, the WAM system extends the air traffic surveillance capability for Fintraffic ANS., as well as creating a Mode S airspace (S = selective communication with individual aircraft), improving aircraft identification, situation picture and tracking.

The south-western WAM region, including Helsinki, was put into operation in the first quarter of 2022, with air traffic controllers said to be delighted about the surveillance performance and extended system coverage. Remaining WAM regions are planned to put in operation early 2023.  

“Putting the Quadrant WAM system into operation marks a major milestone for Fintraffic ANS, contributing to transforming the Finnish airspace into full Mode S Enhanced Surveillance while extending coverage. Excellent quality, high update surveillance data integrates seamlessly with our trackers. The robust Frequentis Comsoft Quadrant ground stations, with their minimal maintenance needs, are the perfect fit for our environment with many remote locations inaccessible during winter months,” said Tero Alastalo, SUR System Manager, Fintraffic ANS.  

The WAM deployment consists of more than 120 Quadrant ground stations, assigned to three regions ranging from the Baltic Sea to Northern Lapland.   “We are proud to support Fintraffic ANS in modernising surveillance across Finnish air space with our Quadrant WAM system. With this WAM system from Frequentis Comsoft we have helped them prepare for new demands on their service, providing extended surveillance capabilities while improving safety and service quality,” added Constantin von Reden, Managing Director Frequentis Comsoft.  

Nordic Finland has a population of 5.5 million, yet passenger numbers are almost five times that number, with close to 25 million passengers reported in 2018 and 26 million in 2019, thanks to increasing tourism. Helsinki airport alone managed almost 22 million passengers in 2019.  

The system provides WAM service for the Finnish Flight Information Region (FIR), from 6000ft above sea level, and additional lower airspace coverage for 19 airport areas. ADS-B service is provided for the FIR, and for airports to ground level. The system design provides high resilience, assuring continuous WAM service. Helsinki FIR and airport are designed with N-2 ground station redundancy.