Categorized | National News

Radar Bids Being Evaluated- 6 Companies Being Considered

The government is now evaluating bids for a new air traffic radar, as the current malfunctioning ASR8 radar at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) has been causing major delays and other problems.

Once a bid is accepted, air traffic controllers will still have to wait at least another year before the new system will be installed, officials said.

Air Traffic Controllers Union (ATCU) President Roscoe Perpall told the Bahama Journal this week that the bids are from half a dozen companies specialising in air traffic radars, however, he could not reveal any of the companies being considered.

“Right now we are looking at six leading companies and hopefully within the next several weeks, we should be down to the final two,” Mr. Perpall said, explaining that the final two companies will be allowed to tweak their bids in order to secure a contract.

But this time around, the government has sought the assistance of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

ICAO’s role is a crucial one considering the fact that the government lost nearly $10 million when it purchased an ASR9 radar about 10 years ago. The radar was not adequate to meet LPIA’s needs and was later found to be defective.

“That was a $10 million investment this country made and the radar was deficient, never used and will most likely be disassembled and to the extent we can it will be stripped for parts,” Mr. Perpall said.

“We do not need to make that mistake again and some steps have been taken to make sure this does not happen with the help of ICAO as well as significant collaboration between the air traffic end users and the air traffic managers. So hopefully we will make a better purchase this time around.”

In her contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly yesterday, Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin revealed that the new radar will be adaptable to increasing demands put in place as a result of continued growth and development.

“I am told that the model will be modular so that we can add to it as the demand changes or evolves,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.

“There is an allocation in the current budget of $1 million, which will go towards its acquisition. We expect this process to be finished over the next several months.”

In addition to challenges with the present radar, the air conditioning unit in the control tower is also malfunctioning and has been temporarily fixed.

Minister Hanna-Martin recently toured the facility and has committed to having those and all other environmental hazards addressed in the quickest possible time.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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