Every Navy warship that sails through Sydney Heads, either inbound to Garden Island or outbound to sea on deployment or exercise, owes its safe passage to the Port Authority of NSW.
Indeed, every surface vessel using Sydney Harbour or Port Botany in Botany Bay falls under the Port of Sydney’s jurisdiction and the system for controlling all this traffic is the Authority’s Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) system, supplied and supported by Airbus Defence and Space.
Airbus first signed an agreement to supply the VTS in 2010 and on September 4, 2019 it announced it had completed a major upgrade of the system to its STYRIS maritime surveillance and control system.
STYRIS is a scalable and integrated maritime traffic control solution, which consolidates data from a number of sources, including primary radar systems, Radio Direction Finders (RDF), Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders, weather stations, cameras and sonars, to provide a highly accurate Recognised Maritime Picture.
Airbus Defence and Space head of communications, Intelligence & Security, Evert Dudok said that Airbus has also extended the Port of Sydney’s radar coverage of the Sydney VTS with the integration of a new radar at Circular Quay, following relocation of the former 115-metre AMP building radar to a new site at Darling Harbour.
“The biggest port we are serving at the moment is in Australia, with Sydney Harbour and the Port of Botany. Our system completely supports surface vessel traffic,” Dudok explained.
“If you look at the port of Sydney, it was visited by 1,200 vessels in 2018, 350 of which were cruise ships - each with up to 5,000 passengers, and 1.6 million passengers passed through Port Authority terminals. So, you can imagine the services that the authorities need, and the security and reliability of the solutions are fundamental to this success.”
Disclaimer: The writer travelled to Germany as a guest of Airbus Defence and Space