Strong traffic growth prompts the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia to upgrade CNS/ATM systems and improve cross-border airspace management
Air passenger traffic in Mongolia rose by 22% in 2017 to reach a record 1.25 million, of which 79% were on international flights. The Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia (CAAM) forecasts 1.35 million passengers in 2018. International (en route) overflights totalled 110,970 in 2017 (an 11.6% increase), and demand is expected to grow further amid significant upgrades in air traffic management (ATM) technology and processes.
Higher flight volumes helped CAAM to an MNT50 billion (USD19.4 million) increase in navigation service fees from airlines in 2017, although another factor was its decision to reconfigure its charging mechanism to include 16 aircraft categories, instead of six.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ranks Mongolia fifth in Asia and 15th in the world for aviation safety but CAAM (as the national air navigation service provider: ANSP) plans further operational efficiency and safety upgrades. Its ‘Air Navigation – 2024’ strategy document describes implementation of Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) in concert with Russia (and other Asian and European partners) to improve airspace capacity by 40% and fuel savings by 5% per flight.
As it expects en route traffic to increase in the near-to-medium term, CAAM is also building a new control centre to include advanced technology. The centre is planned to enter service in 2020.
Today, the western provinces of Mongolia are controlled via ADS-B, whereas radar surveillance is the primary method in central and eastern areas. The ADS-B system from Indra with 10 ground stations – in use since 2016 – complements surveillance from Indra Mode S MSSR radars. In June 2018, the ADS-B system began supporting separation services within the four ATC sectors in Mongolia.
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