CAAS and SITAONAIR Join Forces to Explore Deployment of Space-based Very High Frequency Voice Communications

27 September 2019

Potentially first of its kind solution will enhance aviation safety and enable more efficient use of airspace

CAAS_SITAONAIR Signing ceremony
Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, CAAS and Mr David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITAONAIR, at the signing ceremony.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and SITAONAIR have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the deployment of space-based Very High Frequency (VHF) voice communications for air traffic management (ATM) in the Singapore Flight Information Region. The agreement was signed by Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, CAAS, and Mr David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITAONAIR, on 26 September 2019 on the sidelines of the 40th Session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly in Montreal, Canada.

2          “Space-based VHF voice communications represents the next level of ATM communications capability. When used in combination with space-based air traffic surveillance systems, it can overcome the limitations of terrestrial based ATM solutions. This MOU is the third  collaboration on space-based VHF voice communications that CAAS has established. By bringing together strong complementary capabilities to develop space-based VHF voice communications, we hope to further enhance safety and airspace efficiency within the Singapore Flight Information Region,” said Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, CAAS.

3          As part of this MOU, SITAONAIR, one of the primary Digital Service Providers (DSP) providing Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) services (digital datalink services) for transmission of short messages between aircraft and ground station via satellites, will contribute to various studies focusing on dual voice and data capability. SITAONAIR will also engage the industry to explore the implementation of unmanned aerial platforms which would hover around 60,000ft above the earth’s surface, in the stratosphere. This solution could potentially be an alternative to a space-based approach to serve high-traffic routes and regions.

4          Mr David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITAONAIR said, “Our focus, first and foremost, is the safety and efficiency of air traffic in increasingly busy skies. The research conducted in Singapore propels the industry into the next stage of air traffic management innovation and communications, providing the potential for key solutions which will keep the skies smarter, even in areas where ground-based VHF is not possible.”

About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)

The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation. For more information, visit



SITAONAIR is the air travel industry’s trusted connected aircraft service expert, powering innovation with recognized expertise and future-proof solutions. With our unrivalled industry-backed heritage, SITAONAIR delivers the promises of the connected aircraft, empowering 400+ airlines and 17,000+ aircraft to navigate the complexity of connectivity with our best-in-class solutions and services for passengers, cockpit and cabin crew, flight operations, aircraft big data and air traffic management. We believe that embracing a digital shift will reinvent the operation of aircraft, flight and on-board experience – making it safer, more efficient and enjoyable.

SITAONAIR is a subsidiary of The SITA Group, the communications and IT solution provider that transforms air travel through technology for airlines, at airports and on aircraft.


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For more information, please contact:


Ms Satwinder Kaur
Deputy Director (Corporate Communications)
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore


Katherine Wooltorton | Daisy Blacklock
Corporate Communications, SITAONAIR

Last Updated on 29 March 2020