PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s telecommunications service provider, has connected Hong Kong (Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department) and Thailand (AEROTHAI) air navigation service providers (ANSPs) via the Asia Pacific Common Regional Virtual Private Network (CRV).
The CRV is specifically provisioned by PCCW Global as a robust and secure regional aviation network for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations specialized agency established to manage the administration and governance of international aviation.
The successful technical trial linking the first city-pair in the Asia Pacific region to the CRV paves the way for the Hong Kong and Bangkok ANSPs to exchange high volumes of aeronautical information over a highly secure and robust dedicated aviation network.
Regional ANSPs have historically not been in a position to share a common network, which resulted in tangled networks belonging to multiple service providers, which in turn led to network management challenges concerning technology upgrades, security, and operations, etc.
With airline passenger growth of over 150% in the past two decades, the air transportation industry now carries up to 3.6 billion passengers to more than 3,700 airports annually. This year, airlines are expected to operate more than 38 million flights, and this number is expected to double over the next 10 to 15 years.
This dramatic increase in the volume of air traffic has highlighted the need for a more robust and secure aviation network. As a result, in 2013, the ICAO took the decision to engage with a single telecommunications operator to provide private network services for the exchange of aeronautical information between the various ANSPs. PCCW Global won the Asia Pacific tender for this provision of the regional CRV.
Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, a pioneer ANSP actively steering the ICAO CRV project, and AEROTHAI have carried out successful trial between the two regions and that the CRV is therefore considered to be ready for operational use by Asia Pacific ANSPs.
Frederick Chui, Senior Vice President of Global Data Sales, PCCW Global, said, “Cyber security is at the heart of the CRV. The success of the trial demonstrates our proven network services which is critical for the growth of aviation industry. PCCW Global CRV is providing secure closed-user network capability between ANSPs. The CRV also provides for various contingency routing scenarios across PCCW Global’s extensive network, ensuring that the service will always be up and running securely.”
Other added benefits of having the CRV includes supporting various functions of ICAO’s Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs), better voice quality, and enhancing the aeronautical information exchange between Asia Pacific and other regions. The CRV service also provides users with performance tracking capabilities and proactive monitoring to ensure network health.