Why communication is integral to a modern airport
Communication is a key part of modern society, with friends and organisations increasingly communicating with one another on a daily basis. This communication is also important for the day to day operations of airports, bringing the skies closer to air traffic control through advancing technologies. Read on to learn more about some of the most important technologies in airport communication and why they are key.
UHF/VHF Radio Communications
UHF and VHF communicators stand for Very High Frequency and Ultra High-Frequency Radio, and are relatively short-range communication networks keeping planes in touch with the team on the ground at airports. High frequencies ensure the quality of transmission is significant and words are not misunderstood, so the pilot has a good idea of what the airport means and wants. These are integral for communications requiring urgent action such as a change of runway. The plane receiving the instructions acts and adjusts their course based on the radio message.
Transmitters, receivers and transceivers
These three pieces of technology are essential parts of the communications process, without which communication is nearly impossible. The roles of each piece are relatively easy to understand: transmitters send the initial signal, receivers pick up the signal after sending and transceivers complete both of these tasks. Each piece of technology is essential and ensures that communication between ground and sky remains possible. Where these are present in aerial vehicles, communications on the ground are typically more difficult.
Base stations, vehicles and handheld radios
Communicating with the air is essential, however, in remote areas such as that around Hamad International Airport in Qatar, having the settlements nearby to carry the signal is relatively difficult. This is where the use of base stations, vehicles and handheld radios come in. Base stations are set points throughout remote areas, ensuring connection throughout the duration of the flight, with black spots covered by mobile base stations set on vehicles and ensuring comprehensive coverage. In the worst cases, operators use handheld radios and communicate with planes this way, guiding pilots towards better coverage.
Air-to-ground and ground-to-ground communications
On occasion, communication with a plane can be difficult. For example, in the event that an airport’s transmitter does not work, communicating with a plane becomes more complex. In these cases, planes communicate with the airport through air-to-ground communications, who pass it on to a nearby station via ground-to-ground communications, for a response from a functional transmitter. There are always fail-safes in the aeronautical industry.
Maritime and TETRA solutions
Necessary proximity to base stations means that there is one issue throughout aviation, and that is of maritime solutions. Of course, there are minimal base stations in the ocean, so long-distance communication is difficult. This is where TETRA solutions are helpful. TETRA solutions are longer-range communication systems encouraging better connectivity over the sea, so pilots do not lose contact with the ground over long journeys over the ocean.
If you’re interested in airport communications solutions, get in touch with the Bayanat Engineering team to find out more about the communications solutions we offer for airports across the world.