Airservices Australia will begin the assembly of temporary radar in Cairns early next week, as the air traffic control provider moves ahead with plans to establish a permanent Terminal Area Radar (TAR) by mid 2012.
The temporary radar, which previously serviced both Melbourne and Sydney Airports while their own TAR’s were upgraded, will be set up at Machans Beach, north of Cairns. Airservices intends to conduct vital air traffic surveillance activities with the radar, while Cairns’ existing TAR facility undergoes a $5.5m upgrade at Redden Creek. Once that upgrade is complete, the temporary radar and associated equipment will be removed from the Machans Beach site.
Construction of the temporary radar is set to involve the assembly of an initially 10 metre high radar tower, with “primary and secondary radar heads mounted on top along with a lightning protection pole”, according to Airservices project manager Bruce Arnold. “Other facilities within the Machans Beach compound will include an equipment shelter, a small demountable office and power supply equipment,” he added.
Cairns’ TAR upgrade forms part of a broader $90m nationwide infrastructure modernisation program being carried out by Airservices, and follows site preparation work for the temporary radar facility started at Machans Beach earlier in May.