Gov’t Undertaking $4.92-Billion Upgrade of Airport Communications and Navigations Systems

Photo: Donald De La Haye Chairman of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Phillip Henriques (2nd left), cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Air Traffic Control Tower at the Norman Manley International Airport on November 17. Others (from left) are Director General of the JCAA, Nari Williams-Singh; Deputy Chairman of the JCAA, Robert Evans; and Chairman of the Aeronautical Telecommunication Limited, Marc Ramsay.

Story Highlights

  • The Government is taking steps to upgrade and enhance the communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) Systems, which are responsible for the delivery of safe and efficient air traffic management in and around the country.
  • Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, noted that the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) is undertaking the $4.92-billion upgrading project, which is expected to be completed by October next year.
  • Mr. Henry noted that the new facility will, among other things, make Jamaica’s delivery of air-navigation services more reliable; boost the island’s thrust to establish an aviation hub, and enable a cadre of skilled and highly trained air traffic controllers.

The Government is taking steps to upgrade and enhance the communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) Systems, which are responsible for the delivery of safe and efficient air traffic management in and around the country.

Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, noted that the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) is undertaking the $4.92-billion upgrading project, which is expected to be completed by October next year.

The work will include the manufacturing and installation of a new state-of-the-art air traffic management system, new L-Band primary and Mode-S radar technology as well as the installation of a voice communication and control system.

Mr. Henry’s remarks were delivered by Chairman of the JCAA, Phillip Henriques, at the opening of a new Air Traffic Tower (ATT) at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston on November 17.

He informed that the JCAA has already undertaken several measures to improve air-navigation services, citing the installation of a new instrument landing system (ILS) at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

“The ILS is an aid in precision runway approach to enhance the quality of Jamaica’s air-navigation services by providing pilots with vertical and horizontal guidance during the landing approach,” he informed.

He noted that the system will be commissioned sometime next month, following the successful pre-commissioning quality assurance inspection.

Other improvements include the installation of a new state-of-the-art Air Traffic Control (ATC) room console at the Kingston ATC Centre on November 8; and at the JCAA’s Civil Aviation Authority Training Institute (CAATI).

Mr. Henry said the consoles, with their unique design, touchscreen and flat-panel technology, will allow for maximum air traffic controller effectiveness, while creating flexible and functional solutions to support the controller’s monitoring and performance requirements.

Meanwhile, Mr. Henry said the new 131-ft. ATC tower, built at a cost of CDN$20 million, forms part of a comprehensive modernisation programme by the JCAA.

He said it is also in keeping with the commitment of the Government to enhance safety, efficiency, reliability and the global impact of Jamaica’s transportation sector and its air-navigation infrastructure.

Mr. Henry noted that the new facility will, among other things, make Jamaica’s delivery of air-navigation services more reliable; boost the island’s thrust to establish an aviation hub, and enable a cadre of skilled and highly trained air traffic controllers.

A new ATT will be opened at the Sangster Airport in short order.

Chief Air Traffic Controller at the NMIA, Mark Phillips, told JIS NEWS that the new tower, which spans approximately 8,000 sq. ft. of land, will aid the JCAA in its commitment to the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic within the island’s airspace.

“It will improve the reliability of our services. The tower is also the first step that the Authority has taken in correcting deficiencies in equipment. We have brand-new equipment to aid in our services,” he said.

Mr. Phillips said the tower’s opening was opportune because air traffic is set to increase yearly by five per cent.

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