Blended civil/military ATM makes progress in Australia

24 May 2018
The OneSKY programme for harmonised air traffic management will provide services for major Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bases (pictured is an EA-18G aircraft at RAAF Amberley). Source: Australian Department of Defence

The OneSKY modernisation programme breaks new ground on many levels

Airservices Australia and the Department of Defence came together to procure the OneSKY Civil–Military Air Traffic Management System (CMATS) in February 2018, in partnership with French defence electronics specialist Thales. The AUD1.2 billion (USD0.9 billion) contract for Thales is estimated to save USD340 million compared with separate deals, with the introduction of a new concept of ‘shared airspace’ based on the TopSky-ATC automation platform.

Airservices predicts 60% traffic growth over the next 15 years – rising from 4 million aircraft movements to 4.6 million – much of it in the Brisbane–Melbourne–Sydney triangle. “We have two of the world’s top 10 busiest city pairs in Brisbane–Sydney and Melbourne–Sydney,” Airservices CEO Jason Harfield said in March 2018. “We also have significant air force bases that sit in the path – Williamtown and Amberley – which are due to gain Joint Strike Fighters.” He said the benefits to the aviation industry are calculated at AUD1.3billion, of which AUD750 million accrues from route optimisation alone.

Shared airspace will also benefit national security, Harfield added. “Having our military and civil controllers sit side by side offers more flexibility from a national contingency perspective.”

The contract brings many challenges, not least bringing together three separate entities. “We’ve not had anything like this before,” admitted Harfield. “We have the contract with Thales, and then we on-supply to defence. Airservices is delivering the defence portion. The contract milestone is very significant, with one final agreement. Achieving the systems requirements agreement in January allowed us to proceed.”

Harfield attributed numerous reasons to the three-year wait between downselecting Thales and awarding the contract, including the time needed to set up the governance structure.

See related article at:

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(312 of 618 words)



    PIS/LFBI AIRFIELD REF PT.: N46 35.15 E000 18.24 ELEVATION : 423' 129m CFR : 5 MAX RWY LENGTH : 7,710' 2,350 m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 03/21, 7,710' 2,350 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt, PCN 44 F/C/W/T. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : Rwy 03R/21L, 2,297' 700 m, width 148' 60 m, grass, Rwy 03L/21R,


    HOR/LPHR AIRFIELD REF PT.: N38 31.19 W028 42.95 ELEVATION : 118' 36m CFR : 6 MAX RWY LENGTH : 5,233' 1,595m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 10/28, 5,233' 1,595 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : None. RUNWAY LIGHTING : Rwy 10: LIRL, REIL, ALSF-2, PAPI.Rwy 28: LIRL, REIL, ALSF-2,

  • PICO

    PIX/LPPI AIRFIELD REF PT.: N38 33.16 W028 26.29 ELEVATION : 109' 33m CFR : 0 MAX RWY LENGTH : 5,725' 1,745m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 09/27 Twy, 5,725' 1,745 m, width 148' 45 m, asphalt, PCN 80 F/B/W/T. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : None. RUNWAY LIGHTING : Rwy 09: LIRL, PAPI.Rwy 27: LIRL, ALSF-2,


    SMA/LPAZ AIRFIELD REF PT.: N36 58.28 W025 10.24 ELEVATION : 308' 94m CFR : 7 MAX RWY LENGTH : 10,000' 3,048m General Information SURFACE : Rwy 18/36, 10,000' 3,048 m, width 197' 60 m, concrete. ADDITIONAL RUNWAYS : Rwy 15/33, 6,004' 1,830 m; Rwy 04/22, 4,345' 1,324 m; both asphalt; both closed.