Australia’s SkyNet Aviation® briefs PNG aviation regulators and Operators on ADS-B 2.0 flight monitoring


Date of release: 8 August 2019

MADANG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, 8 August 2019 – PNG air safety regulators get to grips with game-changing ADS-B 2.0.

At the PNG Aviation Safety & Security Conference – held in the regional city of Madang from 7-9 August 2019 – Jon Davis, CEO of SkyNet Aviation®, addressed a packed conference centre on the benefits of ADS-B 2.0 for the mountainous country.

“Papua New Guinea is a unique operating environment where ADS-B 2.0 can make a massive difference for aviation regulators whose mission is to increase flight monitoring, air traffic management and aviation safety,” Davis said.

He explained that the 2.0 aspect of this presentation is based on extending the concept that people have of ADS-B beyond a purely technical solution.

“The 2.0 means using the data that ADS-B equipment generates in an integrated and intelligently networked manner,” Davis said.

“We’re always looking towards new innovations and ADS-B 2.0 can offer PNG an unprecedented level of broad surveillance of what every aircraft in the country is doing second by second.

“This is a country where the civil aviation sector has a central role due to rugged terrain, remote populations and inhospitable weather. It often makes more sense to fly than travel by land. How you regulate and monitor aviation to achieve the levels of safely and efficiency you need is of paramount importance.” 

Davis says this is where SkyNet Aviation’s software platform – REACH® Aero Day Of Operations – also comes into play. It can give regulators, aviation companies and airport operators, a real-time “single pane of glass” overview of any aspect of what aircraft and ground assets are doing.

This goes beyond the data gathered by ADS-B to include custom integrations for any digital system that the user wishes to track.  

“We call this ADS-B 2.0 concept an ‘intelligent network’ because of the integration and aggregation with other technologies,” Davis says.

“The power of integrating ADS-B data with all the other communication and management platforms out there could make PNG regulators into world leaders. It’s a chance to leap ahead of the curve.”

This kind of ADS-B capability is in no way unproven.

Davis outlined three private-sector case studies – including one already operating in the Timor Sea, right on PNG’s doorstep – to illustrate the current realities of ADS-B integrations. 

“Whether it is the Scandinavian Air Ambulance, the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia or the passenger helicopters serving the oil and gas rigs of the Timor Sea, a fully integrated aviation management software solution that is powered by ADS-B data and other integrations is allowing private operators to keep track of where aircraft are in real time across some varied terrain and remote areas.

“Their safety is up. Their efficiency is up. Their tracking is up. And their costs are down.

“It’s not hard to see how government air traffic control and aviation regulators could utilise the same benefits for the public good.”

Davis said ADS-B 2.0 is an appropriate match for the policies PNG proposed in the 2016 meeting of the South East Asia and Bay of Bengal Sub-regional ADS-B Implementation Working Group.

“At that summit, Papua New Guinea announced plans for up to 15 ADS-B sites to support FL285 overflight to be implemented by the end of 2019,” Davis said.

“The simple extension of those plans to include ADS-B 2.0 technology would extend ADS-B coverage virtually down to the ground.”

Davis explained that being a developing nation bordered by the powerful economies of Indonesia and Australia means that PNG should have both the regulatory flexibility and international support to jump straight to world’s best practice in cost-effective aviation regulation regimes.

“The PNG Aviation Safety & Security Conference is all about setting the standards for the future, with new ideas and new capabilities. And I know from long experience that PNG is not a country that’s afraid of new ideas and new solutions.” 

SkyNet Aviation® has been working in PNG for some time.

“Our presence here has been realised through long-standing relationships with PNG Air and Hevilift.

“We have been conducting flight tracking here for various organisations for over 15 years. We are proud to have clients throughout PNG.”

In international terms, domestic aviation plays an unusually important role in Papua New Guinea. Features of the country’s transport sector include: 

  • 2.06 million total annual air passengers against population of 8.2 million 
  • 252 aircraft registered in-country (all types, excluding military/govt)
  • 52 airports with scheduled services
  • 27 airfields with irregular service
  • Various private and public airstrips  
  • Extreme topographical variations in landform
  • Largely non-urbanised population
  • Very high average annual rainfall of 2000mm-5000mm 
  • Forest cover of 74% of total land area
  • Mountain ranges up to 15,000 feet (4500m)
  • Average terrain elevation countrywide of 2200 feet (660m) 
  • Limited highway infrastructure
  • Zero public rail infrastructure
  • Few passenger ferries for coastal or river travel.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

What is the PNG Aviation Safety & Security Conference  A gathering of senior executives, technology experts and government officials within the aviation industry, this conference discusses the future development of the PNG aviation sector. The theme for 2019 was “Harnessing Sound Aviation Policies & Digital Technology as Catalyst for SocioEconomic Growth and Connectivity”. Across three days, the key focus points were enforcement, regulations, safety management, air traffic management and upgrades to the country’s approximately 100 airports, airfields and airstrips. This year’s event was the sixth installment of the conference.