Airports operator Avinor has installed 200 WAM (wide area multilateration) antennas on mountain tops and at airports across Norway.

The main advantage of WAM technology is that it provides a better picture of the airspace. While conventional radars look outwards and upwards, WAM antennas also give a picture downwards.

Given Norway’s topography, which features numerous fjords and valleys, the new WAM technology make it possible for pilots and air traffic services to collaborate in a better way. This is very useful in search and rescue missions, for example, and increases the safety level in Norwegian aviation, explained Ellen Lystad, director of new technology development within air navigation at Avinor. The new technology will replace about half of Norway’s conventional radars, the airports operator said.

Defence and security company Saab is the technology provider in Avinor’s WAM project.

“Norway has a very challenging topography, and to ensure a good picture of the airspace for Avinor, we have installed a large number of antennas there. This makes the project one of the world’s largest and most complex of its kind,” said Jeff Thompson, ATM safety and efficiency programme manager at Saab.

There are about 600,000 flight movements across Norway every year, making the new WAM technology crucial to Avinor’s ability to deliver safe, stable, and efficient operations.

Image: Avinor/Finn Reitan