US Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) has provided a $47.6 million loan guarantee to Albania's National Air Traffic Agency (NATA) to continue upgrading the country's air traffic control navigation system.

Lockheed Martin in January 2003 was awarded a $32 million, four-year contract to modernize Albania's national airspace system ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece.

A spokeswoman for the US manufacturer says the Eximbank loan will be used to fund the remaining aspects of that contract.


Under the first phase of the contract, Lockheed installed an initial radar control capability.

The contract also calls for new radar, navigation and communications equipment to link the air traffic system to other airports in the region, says Lockheed, as well as a new airport tower and air traffic control centre.

The manufacturer is providing this through its Skyline air traffic control system.

"This export sale is a win for everyone," says Eximbank board member Linda Conlin in Albania.


"It will support skilled US jobs at Lockheed Martin and its sub-suppliers throughout the USA, help modernise Albania's transportation infrastructure at Mother Teresa airport in Tirana, and serve as a model for future US participation in modernizing Albania's infrastructure."

Eximbank says the Lockheed system will triple the capacity for flights over Albania and provide for continuing capacity increases as needed.

Source: Flight Daily News