The new aircraft surveillance system installed at the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe has added a positive impact to the country’s civil aviation by enhancing safety of aircraft operations.
Lack of aircraft surveillance system has been one of the issues of concern for the country’s aviation sector.
KIA airport commandant Donnie Chimtengo told journalists during a media tour of the construction works at KIA on Wednesday the installation of the new radar system is a positive step in the civil aviation sector, saying it has eased the huge workload of air traffic control.
“Before introducing the radar system, operations at the airport have been hectic and pathetic because there was a lot of traffic, and as such, we could not cope,” he said.
The newly-installed radar is capable of detecting aircrafts and tracks them visually on a monitor at 370 kilometres away from the airport. It provides information such as flight number, aircraft type, speed, direction and altitude.
Hiroshi Mizumasa, chief adviser for Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) Capacity Development Project for Radar Air Navigation Services at KIA, said the radar will help to control traffic and allow the air traffic control officers to see the aircrafts even before they land.
“We believe that the radar will help in increasing aviation traffic as well as improving safety.
“We have just installed the radar system and it is now under adjustment and localisation,” he said.
The radar system is expected to be fully operational by April 2019.
The radar equipment was installed as part of the Japanese government grant amounting to $4.8 million (about K3.5 billion) for expansion of KIA terminals.