Jersey Airport’s £4m project seeks to replace its primary and secondary radars, which become outdated at the end of this year and will no longer comply with new radar regulations that will come into force in 2012. Having started in March 2011, the project is due to be completed by the end of December 2011.
SELEX Systems Integrations Ltd have been appointed as the project contractors, and Sandy Sawyer, Jersey Airport Operations Director, stated: “JerseyAirporthas had a long association with SELEX Systems.” Sub-contractors, John Grimes Partnership, are designing and installing the radar head building, the tower modifications and the site earth mat. Steve Savva, Jersey Airport Air Traffic Control Engineer, is Project Manager, and Airport Air Traffic Engineering is in charge of the airport side of the work.
The existing radars, which were installed in the mid 1990s and are no longer manufactured, are situated at Les Platons onJersey’s north coast. The JARRP project is relocating them to within the airport security fence at the western side of the airfield in St Peter. The move is part of the necessary measure to ensure that the radars comply with the 2012 regulations, as well as a more practical arrangement for the air traffic control and maintenance staff, who will save time otherwise spent traveling to and from the Les Platons site.
The radars are not only an essential part of aviation forJerseyAirport, but they also provide wider radar cover and benefit to theChannel Islandsin general. Ms Sawyer, said: “The primary and secondary radars are vital to airfield operations and provide an essential tool from which the air traffic controllers work to control aircraft inChannel Islandsairspace.”
So far, the project is running on time and within budget. Construction at the existing radar site on the Airfield has involved building a tarmac city, containing constructor’s cabins, and erecting a temporary mast for mobile phone and other aerials, which will be moved back to the modified tower on completion. The new radar heads are up and turning, and will now be integrated with equipment in the ATC tower as they start being tested and commissioned.
Environmental impact has, wherever possible, been limited to a minimum, and Ms Sawyer also explained the minimum visual impact of the project; for example the new radar building at the base of the tower has been painted green in order to blend in with the environment and adjacent green hanger.
Although there are few special considerations to be taken into account during the project, particular care has to be taken about the height of the finished mast: it has to be safeguarded so that it does not infringe on the protected airspace for the runway. The project managers have also made sure that the local residents are aware of what is going on through a series of press releases.
JerseyAirporthas not suffered any disruptions to its service through the project; the existing radar is still working as commissioned, and will be in use until the new radar is ready. The physical impact has also been minimal. Although the site lies within the airport compound, a barrier has been erected so that the area does not affect airport security. Ms Sawyer described the running of the project as “very smooth.”
Similarly there have been no budget restrictions encountered during the project. The radar replacement project has been within the airport’s capital plan for years because the existing radar was not going to be compliant after the start of 2012.
JerseyAirportis a relatively small, regional, island airport serving the community and acting as one of the gateways to and from the island. The passenger input is 1.5 million per annum.
As one in a series of major construction developments for the airport, the Jersey Airport Radar Replacement project is the last major construction project for the foreseeable future.