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  • Writer's pictureSimon Golstein

High Lander meets with Saipher to discuss the future of air traffic control

The twentieth century was the century of the airplane, and air traffic control technology developed right alongside it. Now, with air traffic evolving to include uncrewed vehicles in ever-greater numbers, the time has come for traffic control systems to reflect this.

With this in mind, we met with Saipher at its head office in São José, Brazil.

Saipher is a world-renowned specialist in air traffic control and a giant of the aerospace sector. It supplies Brazil’s air traffic control system nationwide - which means more than 120 sites, ranging from small regional airfields to bustling international airports like Maringá, Guarulhos and Tom Jobim.

The sheer size of Brazil is only one of the unique challenges to airspace management there - it also has an unusually high population of helicopters, with São Paolo holding the world record. Saipher provides for this with its modular suite of solutions under its 'TATIC' brand. These include electronic flight progress strips, specialized systems for low and high-volume airports, systems to manage aircraft parking and airport resource management, a specialized helicopter traffic system, non-radar monitoring, and more. These systems provide traffic management services at a very high level and are exported around the world.

However, the composition of air traffic is changing worldwide, and Brazil is no different. There are already around 100,000 registered drones operating there, and not just recreational drones - the country has a highly-developed drone industry with many innovative companies pushing to widen their existing delivery networks and others that want to start air taxis services.

Air traffic control services need to reflect this new reality, and what Saipher, and other similar companies worldwide, has been missing is an uncrewed traffic management system that can take this new kind of traffic into account.

This was the subject of our discussion. Saipher needs a drone-specific system that can be relied on to cope with heavy air traffic, cover vast areas, and that’s been field-tested under difficult conditions. This is exactly what High Lander can supply in Universal UTM.

We discussed plans to work together in the future - we’re delighted to say that we’ve found a new partner that sees the value of a fully-inclusive airspace that combines ATM and UTM technology. A major development will be announced soon…

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