Operational use of Mode S at the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC)

21 February 2014

Controllers have often been heard to say: “Do you know what I find the best work improvement in years? Mode S!”

Mode S parameters have proved to be a very popular system feature for MUAC controllers. The number of level busts has roughly halved, despite the fact that not all aircraft are equipped to downlink EHS parameters at present. In addition, by reducing the frequency load, controllers have more “thinking” time – something which is very welcome in one of Europe’s densest and busiest airspaces.

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PDF icon Mode S at MUAC factsheet408.3 KB

The EUROCONTROL Mode S Programme was established in the mid-1990s initially to support research and development activities. The Programme had defined objectives – to support the specification, development, validation and operational introduction of SSR Mode Select (Mode S) - a replacement to SSR Mode A/C. The programme achieved in full these objectives and was concluded in 2009.