THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The installation of the advanced radar system replacing the old one at Thiruvananthapuram airport has started. It is likely to be commissioned within a month, an airport source said.The radar unit was damaged in heavy rain that lashed the area in September 2020. Since then, the airport has been depending on the radar facility of neighbouring airports to control air traffic.
Earlier in March, TNIE had reported about the dysfunctional radar system at the airport. Still the airport uses a GPS-based system and radar feed from Kochi via fibre optic cable to give direction to flights. The construction of the proposed Air Traffic Control (ATC) room in 3.04 acres of land allotted for ATC tower is likely to begin soon.
A top official of the airport told TNIE that the radar system will be installed by the original equipment manufacturer. “The restoration process is going on in the mechanical, electrical and electronic parts of the system. After restoration, the system will be tested before it is made operational. The radar antenna and overseas items were brought from Czech Republic. Once it is installed, we can use the system here instead of relying on neighbouring airports. The recommissioning of the new system will be held soon,” the official said.
The official said that talks are going on between the Airports Authority of India headquarters and the Adani Group to set up the proposed ATC system. “Discussions are on to install an advanced ATC. Since an environmental impact assessment study needs to be done before starting the construction of the tower, it will take some more time, “ the official said.
Though the lack of radar system has not created problems so far owing to reduced traffic, it will create problems in future as more flights land at the airport. Recently, an advanced Approach Lighting System (ALS) was commissioned at Runway 32 of the airport to ensure enhanced safety during aircraft landings in all weather conditions.