1.6-lakh euro system fails to provide crucial weather details on Day 1

The 1.6-lakh euro radar system, which was put to use in the Thiruvananthapuram international airport on Monday, gave anxious moments to air traffic controllers and airport authorities by failing to give crucial weather information.

The radar, that replaced the 18-year-old Airport Surveillance Radar and the Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR), was installed after obtaining mandatory clearance from the Director General of Civil Aviation.

Confirming to The Hindu that weather information was not being provided by the radar, a top airport official said it was a serious drawback. The engineers of the Czech Republic-based company ELDIS Pardubice who had installed the radar were now examining it for faults.

The radar system, which is to be formally commissioned next week, is integrated to a single antenna. The new system comprises a Route Surveillance Radar and an Approach Surveillance Radar.

Periodic checks

A top Airports Authority of India official said the clearance from the DGCA for the radar was temporary and periodic checks would be carried out. The old radars were replaced as part of the AAI’s ongoing project to upgrade air traffic management systems with advanced automation systems.

Indra, an air traffic control technology developed by the Spanish Information Technology and Defence Systems Company, has already been installed at the Air Traffic Control.

In the new system, a combination of primary and secondary radars is used for landing and take-off. The primary radar will give information on weather and clouds. Secondary radars will give details of height and other data to the air traffic controllers. The data from the radars will be fed into Indra.