Airport's eye in sky gets an upgrade thanks to Airservices

A TRANSPORTABLE aviation radar is currently monitoring air traffic over the Coffs Coast, as Airservices Australia spends nine months upgrading the city's permanent radar site.

The transportable radar has been installed at Mt Sandon in the Clarence Valley and will provide coverage during an upgrade of the main en-route radar on Round Mountain, near Coffs Harbour.

En-route, or secondary surveillance radars, are used by air traffic controllers to provide separation of aircraft operating in high level airspace.

The temporary radar became operational last month after rigorous testing.

Airservices Australia said it would remain in place until the upgrade of the main radar is completed in August next year.

"Installation of the transportable radar at Mt Sandon ensures ongoing radar coverage during the upgrade of The Round Mountain radar and will ensure that we are able to maintain and enhance high levels of aviation safety in the region," Airservices Executive General Manager Projects and Engineering, Mark Rodwell said.

"The radar provides critical surveillance coverage over a busy flight corridor between Sydney and Brisbane.

He said the en-route radar replacement project is part of Airservices Australia's $900 million five-year capital expenditure plan, which will see the replacement of en route surveillance radars around Australia.

"These radars provide coverage for aircraft operating predominately in the high level airspace on the more significant routes," Mr Rodwell said.

"Some of these radars are also located so that they can support the coverage of nearby terminal area radars (TAR) and provide coverage in the busy airspace surrounding major airports to ensure continuity of operations in the event of service outages."

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