The Airport Surveillance Radar and the Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) in Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which are 17-years-old, are to be replaced at a cost of 1.60 lakh Euros by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
The radars are being replaced as part of the AAI's ongoing project to upgrade air traffic management systems with advanced automation systems.
The decision to replace the radars comes at a time when Indra, an air traffic control technology developed by the Spanish Information Technology and Defence Systems Company, has been installed at the Air Traffic Control (ATC) here.
“Work orders had already been placed with the Czech Republic-based company ELDIS Pardubice, and the representatives of the company are scheduled to reach here soon to work out other details. Eight other airports under AAI will also get new radars,” a top AAI official told The Hindu.
The ATC Thiruvananthapuram covers about 250 nautical miles, with Kozhikode, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapalli being the northern boundary, and 200 nautical miles oceanic airspace off the West and South of Thiruvananthapuram.
A vertical distance of about 15,000 to 46,000 ft is also taken care by the ATC here.
The Nedumbassery and Karipur airports do not have radars till date, and the radars in Thiruvananthapuram airport monitor the movement of aircraft up to 250 nautical miles.
A combination of primary and secondary radars is used for landing and take-off. Besides, the primary radar will give the weather information and cloud formation. Secondary radars will give the height information and user-friendly data to the controllers. The data from the radars will be fed into Indra automation system.
Single sky system
Integration of various radars will be an important feature of Indra. The AAI is planning to interlink area control radars in the southern region to eliminate radar blind spots and ensure improved air safety and efficient air traffic control.
The Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar at Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Thiruvananthapuram airports will be interlinked at Chennai.
AAI sources said the radars at Mangalore and Bangalore will be linked to the upcoming one in Nedumbassery, and the one at Madurai will be linked to the radar in Thiruvananthapuram later.
The aim is to bring down the number of Flight Information Region areas, where MSSR monitor flight movements over an area of 250 nautical miles or more.
Once the radars are interlinked, ATCs will be able to see the data position of flights, speed, altitude and other information from areas under the control of radar.
The area controls will be reduced to four Flight Information Regions.
Later, the AAI will merge these Flight Information Regions and bring them under one control to achieve a single sky system.