KATHMANDU, Nov 19: Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has conducted a flight inspection of Mode S Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) system on Saturday which was newly installed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and Bhatte Danda of Lalitpur.
According to CAAN, the inspection will be conducted for two days. “The test flight of radar will be held on Saturday and Sunday only,” said Birendra Prasad Shrestha spokesperson for CAAN. “If any barrier occurs in weather, the inspection might be postponed.”
CAAN had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the US for flight inspection. The project that started in 2013 was scheduled to be completed by 2015. However, the project remained incomplete due to earthquake and border blockade.
“We have started the work in 2013 targeting to complete by 2015,” Shrestha said, “But the earthquake on April and blockade after earthquake affected the project work which has pushed away the deadline of project completion.”
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had funded around one billion Japanese Yen (around Rs 928 million) for the installation of MSSR at Bhatte Danda, according to CAAN. The project, under the TIA modernization project, was completed on September 2016.
Started in 2013, the installation of the second generation MSSR system will replace the 18-year old radar of TIA. The newly installed MSSR at Bhatte Danda can monitor the aircraft up to 200 nautical miles from Kathmandu while the current radar coverage can reach to only 60 nautical miles, CAAN told Republica.
“MSSR at Bhatte Danda and TIA will increase the surveillance capability and will assist in the aviation safety,” Shrestha said adding: “Its coverage reaches to Dang of mid-western part of the country and entire areas of eastern and southern part of the country.”
According to CAAN, the newly installed radar will enhance flight safety. Shrestha said that the new radar will help Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to control air traffic. “It will also help ATC to monitor the height and position of aircraft which will manage the air space in an advance manner,” he added: “the new radar will monitor both domestic and international aircraft flying at high altitudes.”
After completing the flight inspection, FAA will provide interim report within two or three days. However, it will take at least one month to get the final report. “After around one month FAA will send us the final report of flight inspection, only then the radar will come into operation. The CAAN has informed that no domestic or international flights from and to TIA have been affected by this flight inspection. The CAAN had issued a notice on Friday to all air operators to cooperate with their flight schedule during the flight inspection.
“We have requested all the pilots to cooperate with us managing their flight schedule for these two days,” Shrestha said, “all the flights on Saturday were operated as per their time schedule and it will continue in Sunday as well.”