Work on replacing the 18-year-old Airport Surveillance Radar and the Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, at an estimated cost of 1.60 lakh Euros, has entered the last phase with the Site Acceptance Test.

The Site Acceptance Test has begun after the installation of the new radar by the Czech Republic-based company ELDIS Pardubice. The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will carry out the mandatory inspection next week on completion of the SAT..

On Friday, the Airports Authority of India carried out the safety audit for airlines, personnel of the Air Traffic Control, and other stake-holders as per Civil Aviation requirements before commissioning the radar.

The new radars that had been installed in the premier airport of the State include a Route Surveillance Radar and an Approach Surveillance Radar.

Familiarisation

“The familiarisation drive for the Air Traffic Controllers will commence soon and the plan is to commission the state-of-the art radar that has enhanced safety features by next month itself,” Airport Director V.N. Chandran told The Hindu.

The radars are being replaced as part of the AAI's ongoing project to upgrade air traffic management systems with advanced automation systems.

Eight other airports under the AAI have got new radars.

Indra, an air traffic control technology developed by the Spanish Information Technology and Defence Systems Company, has already come up at the ATC.

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 height information and user-friendly data to the controllers.

The data from the radars will be fed into Indra automation system. AAI sources said the Mode-S is the innovative feature of the radar that is getting ready for commissioning.

Compared to the one that is being replaced, the call sign, route, and speed can be passed to the Air Traffic Control from the cockpit.

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. It also covers vertical distance of about 15,000 to 46,000 ft.