NAV CANADA has deployed Sensis Corp.’s Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) for surveillance of helicopter and aircraft traffic in the “sea-to-sky” corridor between Vancouver and Pemberton Regional Airport (CYPS), British Columbia. The WAM system will also provide low-level surveillance of helicopters serving the area in and around Whistler, a major event site for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which kick off Feb. 12.
“The Sensis WAM system will be operating to support safe aircraft operations between the Vancouver and Whistler Olympic venues,” said John Crichton, NAV Canada President and CEO. “The sea-to-sky corridor is narrow and situated in difficult terrain with limited maneuvering space. The system will provide air traffic controllers an accurate picture of the traffic in this airspace increasing safety during this busy time.”
The air flight corridor between Vancouver, the host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Pemberton, British Columbia, does not currently have low-altitude radar coverage for helicopter traffic. As the main mode of air transportation in that area, helicopter traffic is expected to increase leading up to the Winter games. With Sensis WAM, air traffic controllers will have continual, accurate surveillance of helicopters flying below 1,000 feet.
WAM uses multiple low-maintenance, non-rotating sensors to triangulate aircraft and helicopter location based on transponder signals and to provide air traffic controllers with precise aircraft position and identification information regardless of weather conditions. With a higher update rate and greater positional accuracy than traditional radar, Sensis multilateration provides effective surveillance for increased safety, capacity and efficiency of airspace, according to officials. Additionally, each multilateration sensor deployed by Sensis supports Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B), a technology that is being deployed by NAV Canada (as well as the FAA) to provide accurate coverage for en route surveillance.
“Wide area multilateration is a proven alternative to deploying costly en route radar, particularly in a challenging mountainous environment such as the Whistler area of British Columbia,” said John Jarrell, vice president and general manager of Sensis Air Traffic Systems.