Business Continuity - Safety and Resilience

To facilitate future expansion and build redundancy, in 2010 dans relocated its approach operations to a new purpose-built ATC facility at Al Maktoum International (DWC). Equipped with two operational suites, the facility features an ATM system with enhanced safety nets and is capable of integrating radar technologies such as WAM and ADSB.

dans is further upgrading its present ATM system and other communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) systems with the latest technology. More importantly, dans seeks to establish new facilities that can sustain business continuity in the event that existing ATC units at DXB and DWC suffer a catastrophic failure. The objective is to ensure maximum possible throughput of traffic (100 percent capacity) for an unlimited period of time. 

Upgraded Stand Alone ATM System – Approach Facility Contingency

Although the likelihood of a catastrophic failure is extremely remote (0.001 percent), the impact on Dubai’s economy (based on lessons learned during a catastrophic failure at a US facility) could result in losses worth billions of dirhams. In the event of a catastrophic incident (to the extent that present approach facilities are rendered permanently unusable), an alternative approach facility with a new standalone ATM system is scheduled for deployment in 2017.

Remote Aerodrome Control Service Concept

To ensure business continuity at both DXB and DWC aerodromes, the need for a resiliant aerodrome control service is also indicated. However, dans is aiming to solve this requirement by making use of new technology that utilises digital and video data integrated with ATM systems. This enables the provision of an aerodrome control service from a remote facility for both airports without the need for a contingent visual control room at either airport.

The first phase of the enhancement of the present DXB Emergency VCR for single runway contingency operations is nearly complete. The second phase of the EVCR enhancement will support dual runway contingency operations and project execution is scheduled to start in Q1, 2017. The scope of this phase includes a separate DXB Tower equipment room and the validation of video/camera system to support the provision of an ATC Service.

Communication, Navigation, Surveillance (CNS) Asset Replacement and Enhancement Programme

dans manages a number of CNS systems with integrated redundancies for resilience purposes. To further ensure business continuity, an asset replacement and enhancement programme is now ongoing at DXB and DWC.
  • Communication

    Various radio communication systems and facilities are being replaced or enhanced at both airports, and are scheduled for completion in 2017 Q1. A significant benefit is the prevention of double transmitions – a hazard that has a major safety impact in congested airspace or airports. A new voice communication system is also planned to replace the existing system. It will provide sufficient radio frequencies and a communication network that will more than cater to the additional controller working positions that are envisaged at both airports.

  • Navigation: ILS Systems

    The need to move multiple Code E and F aircraft around the manoeuvring areas of DXB is critical to Dubai Airports’ business plan. However, this is challenged by the positioning of existing runways and taxiways. In response, a CAT-III ILS system was implemented for DXB’s southern runway in 2014.
    In 2017 the southern runway ILS system will be upgraded to reduce the existing Localiser sensitive areas and facilitate the movement of departing aircraft across the southern runway.  

  • Navigation: GBAS

    To further enhance landing navigation capability at Dubai Airports, dans has endorsed deployment of GBAS at both DXB and DWC. This system (based on satellite and ground base transmissions) is not new, but recent technological advances and the availability of more satellites has significantly improved its accuracy and resilience.

  • Surveillance – WAM and ADSB

    Two PSR/MSSR radar surveillance systems are presently located at DXB and DWC. A third system has been decommissioned and was replaced in July, 2016. Airborn surveillance coverage and resilience is further enhanced through other radar sources (located within the UAE) and integrated with its ATM system. Additionally in Q2, 2017 dans is introducing the latest WAM and ADSB technology at DXB, with the intention of eventually expanding the coverage at  DWC.