Ethiopian skies to be under full radar coverage in six months


The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) is to start fully using radar for Area Navigation Surveillance within six months.
The ECAA started using full radar for Approach Navigation Surveillance around two years ago.
At that time, civil aviation systems changed to favour use of radar control for approach air navigation surveillance, the system used to control a plane’s take-off and approach for landing.
Approach navigation surveillance for the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority is from 60 miles from Bole International Airport, where the radar for the navigation is installed. The highest point for Approach Navigation Surveillance is 24,000ft.
Procedural control is used in places where there is very low-traffic airports, sparsely populated land areas and oceans, where radar coverage is either prohibitively expensive or is simply not feasible. It is also used as a back-up in case of radar failure.
The number of planes using the Bole International Airport is growing dramatically every year, as is the number of air transport operators for both scheduled and charter flights.
Introducing this new system should allow air traffic controllers to handle more planes as this growth continues.
The ECAA installed the radar system to allow it to be internationally competitive, improve the safety of services given to airports, improve mechanisms for controlling the air space and air traffic and thereby improve air transport.
The facility for radar service for area navigation surveillance already exists, but there is a need for more air traffic controllers to operate those systems.
To tackle this, the ECAA has so far trained 37 air traffic controllers and more are in training.
According to Bizuayehu Assefa, Director for Air Traffic Service at the ECAA, the Authority will be able to operate full radar traffic service for area navigation surveillance in six months’ time. He is hopeful that the aviation will have enough traffic controllers by then.