Northern radar program paves way for polar routes

by Canadian Shipper

NAV Canada has announced plans to install new radar facilities in northern Canada.

The latest expansion, involving new sites in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, and Iqaluit, Nunavut, brings to four the number of new radars under construction, for a total investment to date of some $30 million.

Beyond these projects, at least five additional northern radar sites are under consideration.

"The expanded radar surveillance will help us to provide increased safety and better efficiency for existing traffic, including overflights between North America and Europe/Asia, as well as domestic flights in the North," said John Crichton, NAV Canada’s president and CEO. "Enhancing radar surveillance in Canada’s North will also support our efforts to launch polar routes to destinations in Asia."

The company is close to completing its two new radar sites in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and Kuujjuaq, Quebec, scheduled to be ready for service by the summer. The new radar system in Kuujjuaq will improve air traffic control service by allowing for reduced separation between aircraft, and providing better route and altitude assignments. This is particularly important in the busy transition zone between the North Atlantic and North American air route systems.

The new radar system in Yellowknife will enhance service to high-altitude enroute traffic, and provide more effective coverage for flights arriving and departing Yellowknife Airport..

The Independent Secondary Surveillance Radar (ISSR) at both sites will use state-of-the-art systems that include monopulse processing and discrete addressing capability. This technology eliminates garbling, allowing more precise identification of traffic. NAV Canada is the first company to implement this new-generation radar.

The radar installations slated for construction at La Ronge and Iqaluit should be completed sometime in 2002, with additional sites likely to be announced in the coming year.

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data