Release

Airservices commissions new radars in Townsville and Rocky

17 Aug 2015

Airservices, the nation’s air navigation services provider, has replaced radars at Tabletop near Townsville and Mt Alma near Rockhampton, to ensure the continued safe and efficient movement of high level air traffic in the region.

Known as secondary surveillance, these en route radars transmit information to air traffic controllers using information transmitted by transponders onboard the aircraft.

The radars provide surveillance of aircraft operating in the area and were upgraded as part of a multi-million dollar modernisation program being carried out by Airservices.

The Tabletop radar, commissioned in late July, is used by air traffic controllers in Brisbane to provide separation of aircraft operating in high level airspace in North Queensland from Cairns to Mackay.

“The radars are used to provide real time aircraft position information to air traffic controllers for the safe monitoring and separation of air traffic operating in far North Queensland,” Mark Rodwell, Executive General Manager, Projects and Engineering said.

“Safety is our number one priority and the replacement of these radars offers increased reliability, and by providing additional information to air traffic controllers, will deliver greater accuracy and improved tracking of aircraft.”

The Tabletop and Mt Alma radars are integrated with existing air traffic control radars to provide Airservices with continuous surveillance of aircraft flying within 250 nautical miles (460km) of the radar site.

They also provide a back-up to satellite surveillance systems such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B.

The Mt Alma Radar near Rockhampton was commissioned in June, following stringent flight inspection testing and more than 14 months of work.

Six radar sites have now been completed as part of Airservices en route radar replacement project which will upgrade nine en route radars across Australia.

A radar at Mt Macedon will be replaced later this year, with radars in the Hann Tableland in Cairns and Swampy Ridge in Mackay replaced in 2016.