The Irish Aviation Authority operates three major airports in Ireland, in Dublin, Shannon and Cork, as well as the North Atlantic Communications Centre (or Shannon Aeradio) in Ballygirreen, County Clare. Here 50+ radio officers provide communication services for the North Atlantic air corridor.
Irish airspace is a crucial gateway for 90% of all air traffic between Europe and North America. Air Traffic Control guides over 1750 flights per day during peak summer months, the majority of which fly over Ireland without landing. The IAA also oversees safety operations for all aspects of general aviation within Ireland and all Irish-registered aircraft.
IAA’s Air Traffic Management department provides services across 451,000 km2 of Irish air space. It operates a complex network of communication, navigation, surveillance, radar and flight data processing systems on a 24 hour basis, 365 days per year. Dozens of key systems, including but not limited to airport and runway maps, weather and temperature systems, pumps, ground radar and control, are replicated across ATM’s three control rooms in Dublin, Shannon and Cork.
Prior to the WEYTEC project, local staff in all three locations supported and maintained their respective systems and infrastructure independently. There was no visual information sharing between sites, or status alarms available beyond each isolated local area network. Whether for routine measures or during emergencies, expert staff at one location could not cover for missing staff at another location.
The first goal of the project was to interconnect and network key data sources at all four locations across Ireland. Experts at one site should be able to access and administer systems remotely. The second goal was to unify the visualisation of disparate systems and alarms onto video walls at the control room sites. The IAA wanted to take advantage of state-of-the-art video wall functionality to maintain not only the local but also a national overview of critical systems. Thirdly, the IAA wanted to realize a fully integrated alarm management concept. The video wall and multifunctional keyboards from WEYTEC should pro-actively alert operators, both visually and audibly, in case of incidents.