Packnet Blog

The national air traffic control system spanning the entire country of Uruguay has been successfully adapted to enable all voice communications between controllers and aircraft crew to be sent and received via internet protocol (IP) telephony.

It is understood that this achievement marks the first occasion when a nation’s entire air traffic control communications network has been linked via IP telephony technology in this way.

Eight air traffic control sites across the country have been able to benefit from the new integrated IP telephony voice communications system. These sites are San Antonio, Colonia, Salto, Carrasco, Santa Clara, Melo, Tacuarembo and Cardona.

Furthermore, all IP telephony communications at these sites are reported to be fairly well established, having successfully been up and running now for a good few weeks.

The high level of reliability on which the new Uruguayan IP telephony system depends has been attained through a development which accords to the strict worldwide standards for business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) as pertaining to air traffic control communications systems.

These standards – known collectively as ED-137 – are laid out by the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) Working Group 67.

The introduction of the new network is in fact reported to have led to an enhanced performance of the communications infrastructure.

The IP telephony system is also said to have been successful in securing savings in regard to the cost of telecommunications provision.

It is interesting to note that these benefits of improved communications quality and greater cost efficiency – the former being obviously critical for a national air traffic control network – mirror those often reported by the growing number of both large and small businesses around the world which have similarly modified their internal communications and business phone systems to utilise IP telephony and business VoIP technologies.

Callum Byrnes