Raytheon is seeing strong interest Middle Eastern countries in new radar technology that could better identify wake vortexes from large aircraft, such as the Airbus A380, and increase runway capacity.
The company’s X-band radar technology is being developed to allow air traffic controllers to identify vortexes and windshear, which are particular issues for Middle East airports due to the number of large aircraft that operate, and the weather conditions.
“The air in the Middle East doesn’t move as easily and rapidly,” explains Raytheon’s vice president air traffic systems Jim McCoy . “Here it tends to stay a lot longer so you have to have safe allocation of space between aircraft coming and leaving.
“By understanding the wake vortex, you will be able to optimise your flow, and you can shorten the cycles between landings and takeoffs.”
In turn, that could dramatically increase the runway capacity of airports in the region, which has been a concern given the large number of aircraft arriving over the next 20 years.
It is already discussing with Dubai Airports how X-band radar could be integrated with its air traffic systems, and is also seeing strong interest from other countries.
“It’s all about flow management and the different technologies that are going to allow more landings and more takeoffs per hour is really where Raytheon and a lot of the industry is focused in now,” says McCoy.