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Regional ATS Centre Opens in Saint Petersburg

The Regional Centre of the Joint ATM System was inaugurated in Saint Petersburg. Special Presidential Envoy for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergey Ivanov and Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev took part in the opening ceremony.

Six area control centres, namely Saint Petersburg, Murmansk, Kotlas, Vologda, and Syktyvkar, were merged to form the new Regional centre. In his opening speech, Sergey Ivanov noted that the efficiency of air traffic control in Russia had increased by about 20% as a result of the Federal Target Programme implementation.

‘Thanks to shorter routes, Russian airlines save money as they consume less fuel, while passengers save time spent in flight. The environment has benefited, too: the fewer emissions from aviation engines in the atmosphere, the clearer the air we breathe. And, perhaps, most importantly, air traffic controllers have benefited from the improvement, as their working conditions now are completely different from what we had before 2008,’ he said.

The Centre operates state-of-the-art Russian-manufactured equipment, including the latest-generation Russian automated ATC system that is on a par with its international counterparts.

The equipment, which is accommodated in a dedicated new building, allows processing information from ground-based surveillance facilities, providing air traffic control via radio communication, and ensuring a stable connection with adjacent control centres.

Vitaly Savelyev, in his turn, emphasized that the opening of the Centre concluded a large-scale programme that had been in progress since 2008 with the aim of consolidating the Joint ATM system centres. Saint Petersburg Regional centre became the last of 14 Regional centres recently implemented in Russia as part of the ‘Transport System Development’ state programme.

‘Saint Petersburg consolidated ACC is a strategic air transport facility of the Russian Federation. Its opening will allow increasing airspace capacity 1.5 times, considerably reducing airlines’ operating expenses,’ the Minister added. ‘Our goal is to create further favourable conditions for cost-efficient and safe air operations. That requires increasing the quality of air navigation services while unconditionally ensuring flight safety’.

The centralization of air traffic control functions will allow offering higher-quality services to airspace users, fostering the transit potential of the Russian airspace.

Vitaly Savelyev also handed out industry awards to State ATM Corporation staff for their personal contributions to the implementation and launch of the Centre.