Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority to invest $2.57bn for new air traffic control towers

20 September 2015 (Last Updated September 20th, 2015 18:30)

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) is to invest $2.57bn to build two new air traffic control towers at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay.

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) is to invest $2.57bn to build two new air traffic control towers at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay.

The investment is part of a comprehensive $4.2bn modernisation and upgrading programme to replace major components of its communications, navigation and surveillance systems.

JCAA director general Nari Williams-Singh said: "The upgrades will see our radars, automation systems, voice communication and control systems and air traffic control simulation systems upgraded.

"This is a 21-month project, which has already commenced, and we should see some benefits over the next 12 to 15 months."

"This is a 21-month project, which has already commenced, and we should see some benefits over the next 12 to 15 months.

"We are also in contract negotiation stage for a new instrument landing system to be installed at the Sangster International Airport."

Some projects under the modernisation and upgrading programme have been already completed while some are ongoing or scheduled for implementation.

Under the proposed project, radars which are the primary mode of aircraft surveillance will be replaced by Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology in 2017.

In addition, the authority is evaluating bids for upgrading the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) to the more data centric Aeronautical Information Management (AIM).

The projects that have been completed have resulted in the commissioning of a newly upgraded microwave radio network that minimises the risk of critical data loss, for Jamaica's Flight Information Region, in December 2014.

According to Singh, Jamaica has experienced continuous growth in air traffic movement over the past five years with about 65,000 total aircraft movements in 2014.