TATCI – Tallinn Air Traffic Control Improvement – is a special programme launched in 1998 with the aim to equip Tallinn Air Traffic Control Centre with state-of-the art technical systems.
The upgrade was vital, because the equipment in use at that time was unable to meet the changed needs and expectations:
- it was unable to process the required amount of flight and radar data;
- it was based upon old technologies;
- it did not have the functions required for safe provision of air traffic control;
- maintenance expenses and the number of technical failures were too high.
The upgrade process covered:
- Voice Communication System
- Automated ATM System EUROCAT 2000;
- Common Clock System;
- Recording and replay equipment;
- ATS classrooms;
- Additional information display system.
EANS air traffic controllers started their operations in Tallinn ATCC with a new ATM System on 2 May 2002. The new equipment was based upon the most advanced technologies in compliance with the ICAO requirements and EUROCONTROL recommendations.
TATCI and EUROCAT 2000 became synonyms.
During next 6 years the system was expanded by new workstations in order to meet the needs of the growing traffic. About 30 functionalities in the main system and simulator were updated.
Earlier than expected, already in 2006-2007, we reached the situation where the OPS ROOM got too small to accommodate both the air traffic controllers and the equipment. The air conditioning system could not ensure good air exchange and there were some problems in systems cooling. In 2007, concurrently with the construction of the new OPS room, some projects were initiated on the extension and upgrade of the systems to be taken to the new premises – TATCI 2 was launched.
The migration took place in three stages, in order to cater for the architecture of the existing systems and to avoid risks to flight safety during the migration process. During the transition and the stabilisation period some CFMU* restrictions were set for overflying traffic. The transition took place in accordance with the safety management system procedures. The actual transition was on the 7th of October 2008, three more days were meant for tunings, troubleshooting and stabilisation
The conversion of the old OPS room into Radar Simulator and test platform was completed on the 17th of October and it can also be used now as a back-up for the main ATM System.
CFMU*- Central Flow Management Unit within EUROCONTROL.
The VoiceCom and supplementary information systems were augmented; systems like the common clock and back-up for radar data processing system were also upgraded during the migration process.
Looking back at the efforts made at the ATM System modernisation, it is quite obvious that future upgrading processes are neither easy nor reasonable, because the hardware currently used is not manufactured any more, therefore, it can be purchased only as second-hand stuff from other centres. The system analogues could not be found in the world any more, therefore, it was impossible to update some necessary functions for reasonable prices. The basic functions had been developed long time ago and they did not ensure the accuracy required and they were unable to support the development of new functionalities. It was becoming more difficult to meet the Implementing Rules in regard to interoperability (e.g. cooperation with neighbours) and ATM systems.?
The situation with the VoiceCom was quite similar – it had been in operation since 1998.
Further operability of the ATS service provision and development support required complete upgrade of the systems, including IT infrastructure and software architecture.
The modernisation of the ATM System, back-up of radar data processing and VoiceCom system took place in 2010-2012; the name of the programme was TATCI3.
Nowadays close cooperation with Finavia is going on on ordering ATM systems software platform and functionalities.