Airservices has installed two new en route radars in North Queensland that will boost coverage and offer an additional layer of aircraft surveillance on top of satellite systems.
The nation’s air navigation services provider said en route radars have been replaced at Tabletop near Townsville and Mt Alma near Rockhampton.
The two radars, which offer what Airservices described as secondary surveillance, have been integrated with existing air traffic control radars to provide continuous surveillance of aircraft flying within 250 nautical miles (460km) of the radar site.
They also provided a back-up to satellite surveillance systems such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, Airservices said.
“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, Airservices executive general manager for projects and engineering said in a statement.
“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.”
Airservices said the Tabletop radar was used by air traffic controllers in Brisbane to provide separation of aircraft operating in high level airspace in North Queensland from Cairns to Mackay.
A further three radar sites – Mt Macedon in Victoria, Hann Tableland in Cairns and Swampy Ridge in Mackay – will be upgraded between now and 2016 as part of a multi-million dollar program.