The second of six Raytheon radar installations for northern Canada has been turned on in Kuujjuaq, Quebec, pushing the boundaries of procedural airspace 925km (500nm) further out for some international traffic, especially in the transition zone between North America and Europe/Asia.
Once Nav Canada completes the $50 million northern radar coverage enhancement programme next year, 2.5 million km2 (965,000 miles2) of airspace, spanning 3,300km east to west, will come under the much tighter separation rules of radar-controlled airspace.Procedural separation between aircraft is 10min, or about 150km longitudinal and 110km lateral separation. Separation drops to 9km longitudinal and 9km lateral where there is radar coverage. "Traffic over the north Atlantic is heavy at times," says Dave Burtt, Nav Canada's director of communication, navigation and surveillance engineering. "There are bottlenecks, with aircraft trying to achieve better winds and altitudes for optimum routing. We are better able to provide that with reduced separation."
Nav Canada expects the radars to bring airlines savings of $250 million over 15 years.
Source: Flight International