Raytheon believes there is a burgeoning market in the Middle East and beyond for its airport security systems as governments replace or refurbish ageing infrastructure and confront new terrorist threats.

It is not that operators have been neglecting security at airports, says Jerry Tobey, vice president international business development for Raytheon's Network Centric Systems division.

"A lot of airports were built 20 years ago. In those days, it was more about people stealing things or someone straying onto the runway. Today it is a completely different environment," he says. "There are also cities which have grown up against the perimeter, and airports which have expanded, pushing a lot of services which used to be within a secure environment, like catering, outside."

Raytheon has won a deal from the Kurdistan regional government in northern Iraq to provide security solutions at the new Erbil International airport. Under the multi-phased contract, the company will provide point-of-entry security including monitoring and access control, vehicle screening, as well as passenger and baggage screening.

Follow-on phases will include multiple integrated sensors and equipment to secure the entire airport perimeter and beyond.

It has also secured two Middle Eastern deals for its air traffic management solutions. One is a three-year agreement from the Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) for nationwide air traffic management surveillance. The contract will extend air traffic control radar coverage throughout the kingdom.

It will also enhance flight safety for the rapidly growing domestic airline sector and improve the efficiency of Saudi Arabia's air traffic management system.

The other is from the Oman ministry of transport and communications, which has selected Raytheon to supply a state-of-the-art radar system at the new Muscat International airport.

"Air traffic control and radar systems is a business we've been in for 50 years and in 80 countries," he says. "But we've been branching out in the last six to eight years into supplying solutions for critical infrastructure."

Raytheon's approach is to "assess all the threats and vulnerabilities and come up with integrated solutions", he says. "I would use the word technostic to describe how we look at the challenge. Raytheon builds sensors, command and control systems and database systems, and if that's the best solution we use it, but we are not tied to using our own products."

Source: Flight Daily News