By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): Sri Lanka has replaced the 20-year-old air operation communication system at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake, with the latest Digital Voice Communication Switching System (DVCSS).
The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited has installed the new system at the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) at the airport.
The system, made in Italy according to European standards, has been installed at a cost of Rs.670 million.
With Voice Over IP technology, it has the potential to instantly connect air traffic controllers at the ATCT with the flight, all due airports, and the radar tower, enabling simultaneous communication, clarity of communication, and credibility at a very high rate.
The installation and maintenance of the system are carried out by Sri Lankan engineers at the Electrical, Electronic, and Aviation Engineering Division of the airport. The total installation also includes a VHF air-ground communication system.
The official launch of this new DVCSS took place at the initiative of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, with the first call through the system from Katunayake to Ratmalana airport.
“The airspace and airports have been designated as safe zones, and the International Civil Aviation Organization has extended us a special commendation on this,” Minister de Silva said.
He also said that the old radar system at Piduruthalagala being used at present will also be replaced with a new radar system using the latest technology available in the world. “This will take place by October,” he said.
The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. (AASL) has suspended some times back the awarding of a tender to a French company which has a dubious record internationally,
AASL Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) had been considering the awarding of a planned radar system in Piduruthalagala to a French company called Thales Group, despite its chequered history, until the intervention of the AASL Chairman Major General (Rtd.) G.A. Chandrasiri.
Upon the receipt of a complaint made by the Retired Engineers Association (REA), General Chandrasiri had suspended the awarding of the tender and ordered an internal investigation into the tender process.
The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. Has been directed to expedite the project calling for expression of interest from international and local bidders for joint venture project.