Temporary radar construction to begin in Cairns14-06-2011 -
A transportable radar which previously provided service at Melbourne and Sydney airports is due to arrive at Machans Beach on Monday (20 June).
The radar will be used by Airservices Australia to provide important air traffic surveillance in the region while the permanent Terminal Area Radar at Redden Creek, near the airport, is upgraded.
The $5.5 million upgrade is part of a $90 million nationwide infrastructure modernisation program being carried out by Airservices to ensure the safe and efficient movement of air traffic in Australian airspace.
Airservices project manager Bruce Arnold said that as Cairns was a major tourist destination with an increasing amount of international and domestic air traffic, it was essential Airservices ensures the airport continues to function safely and efficiently while the upgrade is carried out.
Construction of the new radar will involve four trucks delivering the containerised equipment on the first day along with a large crane. The main construction of the radar tower is expected to be completed within a week.
“The works plan has been designed to minimise any disruption to residents of Machans. The only impact is likely to be some minor traffic delays as the trucks access the site,” Mr Arnold said.
“The 10 metre tower will have primary and secondary radar heads mounted on top along with a lightning protection pole to a total height of 18 metres above the ground.
“Other facilities within the Machans Beach compound will include an equipment shelter, a small demountable office and power supply equipment,” Mr Arnold said.
Once the radar upgrade at Redden Creek has been carried out the temporary radar, buildings and associated equipment will be removed from Machans Beach.
The new permanent radar at Redden Creek will be housed in a dome which will give it protection from the weather and a greater life expectancy. In addition the dome will protect the radar from high wind events.
The upgrade is expected to be completed by this time next year. Airservices is responsible for approximately 11 per cent of the world’s airspace – an area greater than Europe or the continental United States.
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