Work underway on radar installation in Pilbara region

15 Aug 2012

Work is underway by Airservices Australia, the national air traffic control services provider, to install an en route radar in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The radar, being built at Paraburdoo, will be used to provide air traffic control surveillance in the region and enable Airservices to respond to the increase in air traffic due to significant resource sector growth.

It will provide air traffic controllers with the ability to ‘see’ aircraft down to the ground at Paraburdoo as well as provide coverage down to approximately 10,000ft for traffic operating in or out of West Angeles, Barimunya and Fortescue Dave Forrest and to about 15,000ft for traffic to Newman.

It will also provide some radar coverage of traffic operating to and from Karratha.

Airservices Executive General Manager Projects and Engineering, Mark Rodwell, said that air traffic in Western Australian had grown exponentially in the last five years.

“Perth Airport, the hub for growth in Western Australia, has experienced a rise of 12.5 per cent in aircraft movements in the last year alone,” Mr Rodwell said.

“With so many additional planes flying to and from the Pilbara region, radar provides us with the capability to know the exact location of an aircraft in real time.

“This enables us to make safer and more efficient use of the airspace, allowing aircraft to operate more efficiently, and reducing pilot and controller workload to further enhance safety.”

The radar installation is expected to be completed by November 2012 and the onset of the wet season.

The radar will be installed on a sub-lease site at Mt Mysery, which also contains other Airservices equipment including a communications tower.

Airservices has carried out a comprehensive safety assessment to ensure there are no risks to the environment or local residents. This includes an assurance that the radar complies with all Australian and international standards relating to radio frequency transmissions.