The growth in operations at Schiphol has placed a premium on surface
control and safety. Schiphol’s controllers are constantly monitoring aircraft in all
movement areas, both visually and on screen. Due to Schiphol’s extremely low
position (the lowest point sits at 3.4 m below sea level) and its proximity to the
ocean, visibility is often limited for the air traffic controllers, making it extremely
difficult to always see aircraft movements.
However, not just aircraft roam the airport surface - hundreds of ground-based
vehicles are necessary to carry out the myriad of everyday airport operations.
Baggage carts, tugs, emergency vehicles, and catering trucks are just some of
the vehicles found on Schiphol’s surface, notwithstanding temporary surface
obstacles that might not be known to all pilots. Avoiding a collision between
these vehicles is difficult enough, but when you add in large planes with a much
higher field of vision, the risk of ground incursions increases dramatically. When
coupled with Amsterdam’s frequent low visibility conditions, the likelihood of
surface incidents increases even further.
Thus, Schiphol airport officials decided that in order to achieve safe and
efficient surface control, they needed to equip vehicles with a highly reliable
tracking unit to give a complete view of the entire airport surface.
LVNL placed an order for more than 300 SQUID units to equip their
fleet of airport vehicles. In the following years (2005 – 2013) the number of SQUIDs
has grown to 407 pieces which are used now.
One of the greatest benefits of the SQUID solution was its ability
to work seamlessly with the existing A-SMGCS. SQUID units transmit
spontaneous Mode S reply and are equipped with a GPS receiver, which tracks
the vehicle location. These two capabilities work together to provide a constant,
automatic stream of position and vehicle identification information for display
in the control tower.
Because SQUID is lightweight, compact and easy-to-install (it is either
permanently or magnetically mounted beacon), Schiphol was able to equip all
vehicles in a short period of time.
allow us to take full
advantage of our
A-SMGCS, providing air
traffic controllers with
a complete view of
each vehicle’s location,
safety levels at all
areas on the airport’s
Air Traffic Control the Netherlands LVNL
LVNL provides air traffic
services in the Dutch civil
airspace. LVNL’s area control
unit handles about 500,000
flights yearly and its TWR and
APP control units handle about
400,000 flights yearly.