Data Edge secures €2.5m contract with Irish Aviation Authority

17 Jan 2013

(From left) Ger Caffrey, Irish Aviation Authority; Brian McBride, Data Edge; and Caitriona Corcoran, Irish Aviation Authority

Bray-based Data Edge has won a €2.5m contract with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to supply it with air traffic monitoring technology over a 10-year period.

The network and application performance management company won the EU-wide tender process to supply a new integrated voice and video recording system for the IAA, with the technology set to go live early this year.

Data Edge will also maintain and update the systems for the next 10 years as part of its contract. The company is currently installing a combination of technologies from Atis-Uher, SkySoft and Symmetricom.

The IAA is responsible for the management of Irish airspace, which covers more than 500,000 sq kilometres. Its air traffic control centre in Ballycasey, Shannon, which handles 80pc of all flights across the North Atlantic, will use the new air traffic control monitoring system from Data Edge, as well as the IAA’s air traffic control centre at Dublin Airport.

The system will document and synchronise all of the communications channels that air traffic controllers in Ireland use when guiding flights through Irish airspace and at the main Irish airports.

According to Data Edge, the system will record and replay unified voice, screen and data interactions from each individual air traffic controller’s activity.

Data Edge said the solution will continually capture what an air traffic controller sees on screen, hears and says.

The company said this can include mouse clicks and keyboard actions. During replay, it means all of these sources will be integrated to give the user an exact copy of the activities experienced by the controller, with such activities being synchronised and time-stamped. Data Edge is also providing a GPS-based timing system for this process.

Ger Caffrey, a project manager with the IAA, said the integrated recording systems from Data Edge would provide the authority with added security as it continues to manage growing volumes of air traffic, as well as helping it deal with safety legislation.

Data Edge’s managing director Brian McBride said winning the tender to deliver and manage this air traffic control infrastructure was a great endorsement for the company.

“This project is certainly one of the most exciting and innovative that we have ever been involved with,” he said.

Data Edge itself was set up in 1989 and started out as a test engineering firm.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic