Demand grows for ME suppliers's radar/ATC systems

The growth of the Middle East’s radar systems and air traffic control market has “far exceeded” that of other regions, making it the world’s largest, according to Department of Civil Aviation, government of Dubai.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  September 26, 2006

Demand has been outstripping that of Europe and Asia, said the head of air traffic services at the Department of Civil Aviation, government of Dubai, Mansoor Mohammed Taher. Taher said Dubai is leading the way in investment in the latest air traffic services technology citing the DCA’s recent US$3.6 million contract placed with the UK’s QinetiQ for its ground-breaking Tarsier runway debris detection radar systems. Taher said that Dubai’s entire air traffic and approach radar operations will move to Dubai World Central International airport at Jebel Ali by 2009. Investment is focused on airport automation in Dubai World Central and other international airports in the UAE and the Middle East. He said: “We are the first in the Middle East, and indeed the world, to utilise this technology. This has now been agreed and a budget for the purchase of state-of-the-art ATC and radar systems has been earmarked. Next year we will be looking to source the very latest technology, not just for ATC equipment and radar systems, but also for general airport systems and security equipment. “While Europe and Asia share our common need to constantly upgrade to maintain safety levels, the Middle East is differentiated because it is not constrained by land availability and so is investing in new airports to ensure it meets growth and does not create capacity limitations.” He said that the move to Dubai World Central International will reduce pressure on Dubai International Airport, which is currently handling a peak of 700 aircraft movements a day and is also set to increase local demand for air traffic controllers – with the allotment rising from the current 85 air traffic control officers, 35% of which are UAE nationals, to 120. Taher said: “Coming with this growth and our desire to increase the number of Emirati employees in this sector, will be a rise in demand for training. We have designed an expansive training programme, much of which will take place at the Emirates Training Centre in Dubai, but we will be looking overseas for more advanced needs. “We need to see more technology and newcomers should be keen to enter this market because there is just so much opportunity for them here.”

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