Indra modernises the aircraft guidance system at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

With a view to improving operations during the Olympic Games 
Aeropuerto Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle Airport

Indra has been awarded a strategic contract by the Directorate of Air Navigation Services (DSNA) which manages the French airspace. The company is modernising the Aircraft Surface Movement Control and Guidance System (A-SMGCS) at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to ensure reliable operations and minimise delays and cancellations. 

Head of DSNA's CDG ATC systems department, Laurent Giger, explains: "Our current capacity allows the arrival of 73 flights and the departure of 76 flights per hour, but if we are forced to use the alternative system, we can only accommodate 30 arrivals per hour, which would result in cancellations. However, with the upgrade we can handle 48 arrivals even with the alternative system, which may cause some delays, but not cancellations". 

Paris Charles de Gaulle is one of the few airports in the world where three planes can depart or land simultaneously. The airport is among the busiest in the world, with 67 million passengers in 2023. The complexity with four parallel runways, four control towers and 36 operational controller positions makes it essential for DSNA air traffic controllers to have an accurate overview of surface operations. 

Some of the world's largest airports operate with Indra's surface movement guidance and control systems, the so-called InNOVA system. InNOVA collects all aircraft and vehicle movement information with ground motion surveillance radars (SMRs), MLATs and other sensors. Indra's best-in-class tracking technology analyses and processes the data, refines the information and displays it to operators to include only what really matters.  

The process of eliminating unwanted "noise" reduces disruptions caused by false targets, increasing operational efficiency and situational awareness for controllers and ultimately improving safety at the most congested airports. With the upgrade, DSNA controllers will benefit from Indra's state-of-the-art technology, which incorporates advanced tracking, tagging and classification of relevant objects. 

DSNA has been using Indra's ground surveillance system since 1997. The modernisation comes as Paris prepares its infrastructure for the Olympic Games and in mid-March 2024 the facility acceptance test for the first phase was approved. DSNA will have at the end of the modernisation project a state-of-the-art system that will be ready to adopt advanced security functionalities as described by the EU in Common Project 1.