Airport Introduces New Long Range Radar

April 27, 2011

Minister of Transport Terry Lister today [Apr.27] announced that the L.F. Wade International Airport has completed the re-certification of its long range radar that will increase its detection range out to 240 nautical miles, thereby enabling it to track a greater number of flights traveling over the Atlantic Ocean.

As part of its longstanding agreement with the US Federal Aviation Administration [FAA], the Airport and the FAA cooperatively maintain airfield navigational aid equipment that is used not only for flight operations to and from Bermuda, but for flights that travel over Bermuda en-route to other destinations.

“Navigating to and through Bermuda’s airspace has been significantly enhanced by an upgraded radar system provided to the L.F. Wade International Airport by the FAA. Installed, tested and subsequently certified by the FAA in conjunction with our own highly skilled technicians, the system provides for a great improvement in safety of flight, greater accuracy and greatly improved reliability,” said Minister Lister.

Airport General Manager, Aaron Adderley, stated that the newly certified radar provided greater coverage than the previous unit and that this ensured benefits not only for the FAA, but for Bermuda moving forward.

“Except for the eastern seaboard gateway city radar installations, the Bermuda radar is the only radar coverage in the more than 3.5 million square miles of Atlantic Ocean surrounding the Island. The upgraded radar has been fully tested to a range of 240 nautical miles and certified for use out to 200 miles. The previous 1970’s vintage radar only had certified coverage out to 180 miles from the Airport,” said Mr. Adderley.

With planned modifications and additional improvements by the FAA and local Airport technicians, the Ministry said that testing of the radar has suggested that detection up to 270 miles will be achievable, thereby increasing the overall certified range coverage.

Mr. Adderley added that this increased detection range would enable Bermuda to provide FAA Air Traffic Controllers based in New York, who manage flights traveling over the Atlantic through Bermuda’s airspace, with the ability to accurately and safely track a greater number of aircraft traveling along multiple air traffic routes.

“Given our proximity to the US East Coast, which is home to some of the most congested air traffic in the world, Bermuda’s airspace is critical to the FAA as it is used to funnel some of that traffic off of the East Coast to help ease congestion. With our radar range now extended, we are able to detect tens of thousands of flights traveling along five separate routes. These in-flight routes can be considered ‘highways in the sky’ of sort. By extending out to 270 nautical miles, we can pick up as much as eight additional ‘highways’,” said Mr. Adderley.

Minister Lister suggested that with added routes, comes a greater reliance on Bermuda’s radar capabilities by both the FAA and the numerous commercial airlines flying through our airspace.

“These carriers enjoy the benefit of shortened flight paths when traveling either transatlantic routes over Bermuda, or from the North or South over the Island. These shorter distances enable airlines to realize greater fuel savings at a time when the cost of fuel continues to escalate,” said Minister Lister.

News of the newly-certified radar comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this month by the Ministry of Transport, that the Airport had introduced new GPS technology.

“With our ongoing efforts to invest in the equipment and technology at the L.F. Wade International Airport, Bermuda continues to demonstrate its commitment to strengthening its partnership with the FAA to ensure that our airspace is as modernized and reliable as it can be,” said Minister Lister.

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  1. Terry says:

    This is great news and we can also help out the Yanks….

    UPDATE…….Radar contact……… Premier in England

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