First airport in Africa using ACCESSNET-T IP
Entebbe International Airport is Uganda’s most important airport and the focal point for air traffic in the country and in this region. The airport is close to the city of Entebbe, some 40 km south-west of the capital Kampala with its population of 1.5 million.
Right beside the airport is Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the third-largest lake in the world. The “airport on the equator” is so called because it is almost exactly on the equator (latitude 00.020 North).
The airport is very important: there are flights to numerous African destinations as well as to inter-national hubs such as Dubai, Amsterdam or Frankfurt. This aspect is apparent from the number of international passengers that has increased every year since 2002 and has more than quadrupled since then. The headquarters of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are also at the airport.
Reliable voice communication is an absolute must for smooth, efficient operations at an airport. The employees on the tarmac, in baggage handling, the airport fire service and, last but not least, the air traffic controllers in the control tower: without radio coverage it would not be possible to coordinate and handle some 28347 civilian flight movements.
Our solution in detail
The TETRA radio system ACCESSNET-T IP offers all the functions necessary for the reliable, cost-efficient operation of an airport, for example quick call setup times, high voice quality and call functions such as group calls. In this way the airport employees can always be reached; around 300 to 500 radio subscribers use the radio system.
The airport employees and the police communicate across systems using group calls via the seamless TETRA gateway to the TETRA network run by the Ugandan police. In critical situations, quick coordination between the airport staff and the emergency services is possible. The solution provided is smart and effective by connecting the Hytera radios MT680 in both systems via a so-called „back-to-back“ solution. Both systems are independent of each other and are managed separately, for instance the subscriber data.
The airport employees can also make calls to the public telephone network, the necessary SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) private automatic branch exchange is connected to the telephony gateway on the base station. For reliable radio coverage at the airport, the powerful base station DIB-500 R4.1 is used in the high power variant. Additionally, an expansion rack with voice recorder and private automatic branch exchange (PABX) is used.
Thanks to the flexible system architecture of ACCESSNET-T IP and the distributed switching architec-ture, all the necessary function blocks and gateways run directly on the base station and do not require any additional hardware. For interruption-free radio operation, the main control channel is of redundant design (MCCH redundancy) such that the operation of the base station is ensured even if a carrier should fail or suffer problems.
As an airport, a reliable voice communication system is essential for efficient coordination of ground operations amongst the various departments. The ACCESSNET-T IP provided by Hytera has met user expectations.
-Aidah Namuyanja, Technical Officer, CAA
As a result, with ACCESSNET-T IP, Entebbe Airport has a modern TETRA radio system that optimally supports work processes and operations. Reliable radio coverage at the airport, powerful radios and numerous features support flight operations and the related activities. The TETRA gateway and tele-phony gateway permit communication with the “outside world” if necessary.
Entebbe International Airport will take on an even more important role in future: it is planned to expand and extend the airport successively until 2034. During this expansion, it is expected the radio system will also be aligned with the new, increased requirements.