05 July 2011
Jersey Airport has started work on replacing its existing radars.
The current radars, which were installed in the mid 1990s, are no longer manufactured and cannot be repaired. In addition, the radars need to be updated for the airport to remain safety compliant and licensed to operate.
The actual work will involve the relocation of the current primary and secondary radars from the Les Platons site on the Island's north coast to the existing radar tower on the western side of the airfield.
There is unlikely to be any disruption to airfield operations, including those of the airport's airline partners.
An airport project team has been set up, led by the Operations Director and staff from Air Traffic Engineering and Air Traffic Control. They will work alongside Selex System Integration, the contractor appointed to carry out the actual replacement work. Civil works and construction of the new radar cabin at the foot of the existing tower was carried out by John Grimes UK, under sub-contract to Selex.
According to Jersey Airport's Operations Director, Sandy Sawyer, "The primary and secondary radars are vital to airfield operations and provide an essential tool from which the air traffic controllers work to control aircraft in Channel Islands airspace. Not only are they now beyond economic repair but incurring increased maintenance costs as spares are no longer manufactured. Added to which, the secondary radar will no longer be compliant at the end of 2011. We have also taken this opportunity to relocate the radars to a more secure site on the airfield, which will also reduce the amount of routine visits that are
made by our staff to Les Platons site."
A budget of £4m has been allocated to this project, which will come from Jersey Airport's trading fund. This will cover the cost of replacing the new radar, building and labour costs as well as testing the new system.