16 May 2011 – Reuters
London Oxford Airport has today announced it is to install the latest generation radar system, a precursor to the next major phase of redevelopment at the airport. The new system will be supplied by Thales with project management by NATS.
Combined with further communications system upgrades, this represents an investment by the expanding UK airport of £4.5 million and the intention is to have the radar operational well ahead of the Olympics in summer 2012.
The primary and secondary (Mode-S, MSSR) surveillance radar system will enable more efficient transits through local airspace as well as increase the throughput of IFR flight activity. The state-of-the-art Thales solid state STAR 2000 primary radar will feed data into the Eurocat-C radar display system. One feature of the system is the option to enhance visibility where future large wind turbines may be an issue, should their numbers increase around the SE UK region. Such a feature is one that legacy systems are not readily able to deal with today.
With a steady increase in both business aviation traffic and aspirations to entice further commercial airline activity, the go-ahead for the new radar system is one of the most significant steps forward in the airport’s history
Mike Sparrow, Oxford’s Airport Manager added: ‘This major investment demonstrates our owner’s commitment to the future of London Oxford Airport by selecting market-leading technology in this field. It also follows a recent commitment to the latest generation Iturri fire tenders.’ It is anticipated that the new system will be fully operational in good time ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games, at which point a considerable increase in demand for capacity is anticipated.