Eventually, after one years of long run, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has finally set a green signal for signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States for the commissioning of test flights inspection on a newly installed new generation radar system at Bhatte Danda, located in Lalitpur.
After initiating the test flight from FAA, Tribhuvan International Airport along with the CAAN’s authorities will have an access to monitor each and every aircraft flying in the Nepalese airspace. Mode S Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) tracking requires aircraft flying at FL410 which can track flight up to 250 nautical miles. After successful conduction of test, the radar is anticipated to come in operation from September.
According to the Director General of CAAN Mr. Sanjiv Gautam, CAAN has formally invited the FAA Team to sign the MoU and initiate its test flight operation on the newly installed radar facility. The team from FAA’s regional office in New Delhi had come to Nepal to sign the MoU but they were back without making any agreement because US Embassy for Nepal wanted the Nepal’s Government approval first on April. The radar is expected to come in operation by the end of September, said Mr. Gautam.
The installation work for radar was accomplished on July last year after four years of work. The total budget for this project was around 906 million. The project was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as part of the broader Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) modernization project.
The new Mode S Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) can monitor the aircraft up to 200 nautical miles. Its reach extends up to Dang in the west, and the entire eastern, northern and southern parts of the country.
As per the report, the existing 18 years old ill-fated RADAR can only reach up to 60 nautical miles and gave lots of trouble to air traffic controllers with extra burden along with high attention and passengers with tiring flight delays which now is likely to replace by the new generation radar system of Bhatte Danda.