ADS-B at Kuala Lumpur To Boost Landings, FIR Restructuring

 - April 5, 2017, 9:00 AM
Kuala Lumpur International Airport now can manage 78 landings per hour. Authorities expect a new ATC center to increase that capacity to 108 per hour. (Photo: Flickr: Creative Commons (BY) by Jorge Lascar)

Kuala Lumpur International Airport will soon get a new ADS-B-equipped air traffic control center that will house ATC operations for the Kualu Lumpur Flight Information region (KLFIR). Slated for completion in the third quarter of 2019 and to start operations three months later, the new Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Center (KLATCC) will become the backbone of the country’s air traffic control and coordination center for the Department of Civil Aviation’s search-and-rescue system and serve as the starting point to restructure the KLFIR airspace. With the new system, the airport will become the only facility in Southeast Asia to operate three runways simultaneously, increasing the frequency of landings per hour from the current 78 to 108. In Asia as a whole, only Beijing Capital International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport support similar capabilities.

Apart from enabling surveillance coverage at a lower cost than the current radar-based system, ADS-B would help air traffic controllers locate the position of aircraft more accurately and allow ATC to implement more efficient use of the airspace, said Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai.

KLIA's third runway has operated since May 2014. The facility’s three runways each extend 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) in length.

Located at KLIA, KLATCC will replace the existing 23-year-old system at Subang Airport, 18 miles outside the city. Construction, which started in February, will cost $150 million.

Elsewhere in the region, the Philippines has replaced the Doppler Omni-Directional Radio Range Distance Measuring Equipment with a Communications Surveillance/Air Traffic Management System at at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Bangkok and Jakarta harbor no plans for an ATC upgrade as of now.