Mon, Feb 10, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Airport gets radar to fight birds

EYE ON THE SKY:A new radar system will be installed at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to monitor birds and prevent accidents, the airport company said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) yesterday said it would soon launch a new radar system called BSTAR to reduce bird-strike-related accidents and enhance aviation safety at the nation’s largest international airport, the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The airport company said that BSTAR, a bird detection radar system manufactured by Syracuse-based SRC Inc, evolved and was modified from a lightweight countermortar radar used by the US Army.

“The main characteristic of the new system is its use of active electronically scanned array radar, with an effective detection distance for a single bird-strike event of 6 nautical miles [11.12km],” the company said.

“The system also gathers other relevant information through the use of a three-dimensional integrated electronic map. The information collected by the radar system would then be relayed to air traffic control officers, who could assess whether flights should be informed to avoid passing through areas prone to bird-strike accidents. Meanwhile, the system helps the airport to monitor the movement of birds in order to drive them away if they start posing a threat to flight safety,” the company added.

According to TIAC, the cost of installing such a system topped approximately NT$80 million (US$2.6 million), which covers construction of the necessary infrastructure as well as the labor costs of workers performing 24-hour manual operation of the system for six years.

The installation of the radar system is scheduled to be completed by June this year.

The company said that the contractor had recommended 11 locations around the airport in which the facilities involved in the radar system could be installed, as well as the main and secondary areas subject to its surveillance.

The company added that each location proposed by the contractor would be carefully evaluated.

Aside from installation of the bird-detection radar system, the airport company said that it would fell all trees around the airport, set up bird nets along a river running next to the runways and continue investigating the types of birds that regularly make an appearance at the airport.

Meanwhile, the number of bird-strike incidents at the airport has fallen from 64 in 2012 to 49 last year, according to the company.

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