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Clark to switch on $9.3-M advanced radar system

- Donnabelle L. Gatdula () - April 4, 2007 - 12:00am
The $9.3-million (about P446 million) modern terminal radar system of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark will be switched on today, with President Arroyo expected to lead its activation.

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said the terminal radar approach control at the DMIA is the "most modern in the country," elevating the status of the Clark airport at par with that of other airports in Asia in terms of safety and efficiency.

Luciano said the new radar system will make DMIA globally competitive, the safest and most reliable airport not only in the Philippines, but throughout the Asian region as well.

He said the all-weather radar system can detect incoming and outgoing aircraft within a radius of 60 to 220 nautical miles and will operate 24 hours daily.

"The radar was our response to the clamor of airlines such as cargo handler United Parcel Service (UPS) and budget airlines Tiger Airways of Singapore, Air Asia of Malaysia, Asiana of South Korea and Hong Kong Airlines of China," said Luciano.

He added that the radar’s installation provided airliners the necessary facilities for navigational purposes. In 2002, UPS called for the setting up of a radar system and necessary infrastructure for their operations at DMIA.

"The technically advanced system of the new radar ensures safety of passenger aircraft and would speed up landing, departure, and air traffic at DMIA. Incoming and outgoing traffic can rely on the state-of-the-art radar system during zero visibilities and bad weather conditions," Luciano said.

The airport’s primary radar will be able to detect aircraft within a radius of 60 nautical miles and 27,000 feet up in the air. The secondary radar is capable of indicating speed and position of aircraft within 220 nautical miles and 35,000 feet up in the air, higher than the height usually flown by long-haul airliners at 33,000 feet.

Luciano said the radar project would also complete the navigational aid requirements set up by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) based in Toronto, Canada. The radar system will also save time on flying in and out of DMIA, minimizing fuel costs for airlines.

With the installation of the radar system by the Italian firm Sisteme Integrati, DMIA will no longer be dependent on the radar system of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Selex, one of the biggest telecommunications company in Europe, handled the construction of the radar site and all the technological system necessary for its operation.

The same radar system had been installed by the company in airports in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, South America and in Italy. — With a report from Ding Cervantes

AIR ASIA OF MALAYSIA ASIANA OF SOUTH KOREA AND HONG KONG AIRLINES OF CHINA CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CORP DING CERVANTES DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LUCIANO RADAR SYSTEM
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