The section is responsible for the provision and maintenance of the communication facilities of fundamental importance to the control and management of air traffic within the flight information region. These facilities heavily complement the radar display, and consist mainly in VHF and UHF radio transmitters and receivers. In order to cover the very wide flight information region, we operate high power transmissions from our Dingli site, as well as VHF transmission / reception facilities at two sites in Greece. All this is networked via landlines and radio relays. Moreover, the ATC centre makes use of a dedicated Voice Communication System that reduces the controller workload, presenting the controller with a selection of telephone connections and aeronautical frequencies relevant to the controller working position.
As air traffic gets ever more demanding, modern communication methods aim at cutting down the actual voice communication between controllers and pilots, basically rendering the communication transparent to the controller, with the system automatically transmitting messages to controllers in adjacent FIRs (Flight Information Regions) as regards handing of control, and so on. The controller is only called upon to interact in case the system cannot respond to out-of-the-ordinary situations. The ATM upgrade being installed incorporates the Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) functionality, operating on a VHF data link with the aircraft, purely for ATC reasons, similar to other VHF data links currently in use by IATA dedicated to in-flight aircraft diagnostics.
An Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN) serves also as our gateway to adjacent air centres. Data received via AFTN is integrated in the radar displays via the air traffic management flight data processor.