After coming under scrutiny by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) over its long-running procurement process of the OneSKY system, Airservices has picked Thales to carry out the $1.2 billion air traffic control system overhaul.
The Federal Government revealed on 26 February that Airservices Australia, the Australian Government-owned entity tasked with providing air navigation services around the country, in partnership with the Department of Defence, has entered into an agreement with Thales Australia for the long-overdue project.
The deal will see Thales integrate the nation’s civil and military air traffic management systems, in what the Government is referring to as the “world first and the pioneering” OneSKY program.
Once the project is implemented, Airservices Australia and Defence will share technology and information for its integrated air traffic control system. The finished product is expected to manage forecasted growth of air traffic movement in Australia, by as much as 60 per cent by 2030.
“The $1.2 billion OneSKY project will transform Australia’s air traffic management system and national infrastructure in the sky, ensuring the travelling public arrive at their destination safely and with minimal delays,” Australia’s Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, said.
“The OneSKY project will support 450 specialist high-tech jobs in Melbourne, building Australian skills in complex project management, systems engineering and software development.
“Around 75 per cent of the acquisition cost and 95 per cent of the ongoing annual support costs will be to Australian companies,” he said.
Under OneSKY, Australia will be better able to handle forecast air traffic growth which will reduce congestion and open up more efficient air routes to reduce flight times, fuel costs and greenhouse emissions.
According to Pyne, around 75 per cent of the acquisition cost and 95 per cent of the ongoing annual support costs will go to Australian companies.
Australia’s Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, said that the project will involve the replacement of “ageing” military air traffic management systems.
“The integrated system will manage more than 11 per cent of global airspace and some of the world’s busiest air routes,” Payne said.
“As a result of reaching this important milestone, OneSKY will be removed from Defence’s Projects of Concern list,” she said.
The deal comes roughly six months after Airservices put out a request for proposal for the provision of infrastructure-as-a-service, saying that it wants to engage the local IT community to partner with a vendor capable of helping it transform its IT service delivery infrastructure.
Ultimately, the organisation wants to shift from an internally managed environment to an externally provisioned, commodity-based, agile managed service capable of providing “right sized ICT services” throughout the contract term.
The successful supplier will be engaged to modernise Airservices’ core compute and end user compute environments, delivering a commercially viable solution that will meet Airservices current computing needs now and into the future.