Spanish government approves the digitisation of voice and data communications at ENAIRE’s air traffic control centre in Seville and the Málaga Tower


Spain’s Council of Ministers has authorised the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda (MITMA) to digitise the voice and data communications at ENAIRE’s air traffic control centre in Seville and at the tower in the Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport, which have reached the end of their life cycle and require an upgrade that incorporates new digital technologies.

To this end, ENAIRE, Spain’s national air navigation service provider, has issued a tender for the operational supply of IP Voice communications equipment, which integrates voice and data into the same digital network and entails transitioning from an analogue to a digital system.

The tender totals nearly 14 million euros (13,975,308 euros) without taxes, and the execution time is 36 months.

This tender is divided into three lots: the first two include the supply of position equipment and servers (for the tender amounts of 2,193,800 euros for lot 1, and 1,084,178 euros for lot 2), and the third, which includes the complementary equipment for the system and the installation, testing and commissioning of all the equipment, for 10,697,330 euros.

Upgraded Voice Communication systems

The voice communication system at ENAIRE’s Control Centre in Seville was installed in 2001, and it was placed into service that year, and at the Málaga Terminal Control Area in 2002. The TCA oversees not only the aircraft at the airport, but those on approach as well. These systems have remained in service ever since, yielding highly satisfactory results thanks to their robust operation and performance.

The Voice Communications systems are being upgraded in response to a need to evolve towards more cost-effective technology by saving the expense associated with analogue lines, reducing the maintenance costs of the system itself and making it easy to scale the system as necessary.

Thanks to its modern technology and architecture, the system offers a mean time between faults that is much longer than the current system.

The Voice over IP communications system, dubbed COMETA, will make it possible and viable to introduce dynamic airspace sectorisation. COMETA will also improve the quality perceived by customers by implementing end-to-end audio quality.

Thanks to these systems, which provide flexibility when accessing communications resources from any location, ENAIRE will be able to quickly redeploy, in the event of a contingency, one centre to a different one, providing an unprecedented guarantee of safety, availability and resilience to all airspace users.

All the information on one digital network

The widespread technological trend is towards the use of systems that facilitate the integration of voice and data on the same communication network, and that make shared use of resources. In this regard, ENAIRE is implementing Voice over IP Communications systems in its air traffic control centres.

ENAIRE is the owner of the COMETA Voice over IP Communications system, which is currently in service in the Canary Islands and Valencia centres, and is being installed in Madrid, Barcelona, Palma and Zaragoza.