Obsolete radar systems at Kefalonia & other airports put brake arrivals numbers

Delayed replacement of obsolete radars has been delayed for three years, which does not allow for more slots. 

An outdated radar system is enough to record, once again, the “stigma” of the official State’s long-standing inability to ensure timely availability of key infrastructure so that prospects for growth are not “clipped”.In this particular case the matter concerns the replacement of radars and the supply of aeronautical aids and air traffic management equipment at the airports of  Andravida, Chania, Araxos, Kefalonia  and  Zakynthos.These are airports whose systems cooperate to control air traffic in a large part of the Greek airspace that includes the Ionian Sea, the western coasts of the country (Central, Peloponnese) and western Crete. An extensive area of ​​air traffic which affects, inter alia, destinations such as Zakynthos, Kefalonia, the western Peloponnese and Chania.

Euro2day.gr reached the… radar of Andravida and Chania talking to tourist agents of the regions on the occasion of the change of contractors that the hoteliers had with the bankrupt Thomas Cook Group  , as  well as the apparent demand from abroad for 2020.

The Ionian Islands, the western coasts of the country (Epirus, Sterea, Peloponnese) and western Crete have been the destinations that have attracted the lively interest of tour operators and foreign tourists in recent years. These are the areas that were moving at second speed in previous years, behind the popular destinations of the Aegean and Crete, but have gained explosive growth potential over the last three years. The result of changing trends in the preferences of foreign visitors looking for new destinations and  the shifting of tour operators to destinations that were not linked to migratory flows,  as was the case with the islands of the Greek border in the Aegean.

The increased demand from abroad has also led to increased demand for airline slot to the region. The increase in demand coincided with the passage of regional airports (Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Aktio, Kalamata, Chania) to the management of Fraport Greece.

According to local businessmen, there is interest in  additional airfares  from tour operators and airlines, but a limited number of free slots are recorded. From various sources it turns out that the issue is not new, but it has been three years already… wandering the bogus corridors of bureaucracy lost somewhere between the Air Force (PA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The incredible thing is that for the replacement of radars at Andravida and Chania airports and the supply of necessary equipment for Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Araxos airports,  the Greek State will not pay a single euro ! This, as well as the associated costs associated with staff training costs, is fully covered by Fraport Greece as it is a contractual obligation as stated in the contract for the concession of the 14 regional airports by the Greek State to the company.

As stated in the concession contract:  “The supply and cost of the systems in accordance with the technical specifications and operating requirements to be issued by the Air Force (PA) /, as well as the provision of initial training of personnel required for the their operation and use, up to fifty (50) persons maximum, shall be covered by the Concessionaire . That is,  Fraport Greece.

At the same time, the contract states that once the systems are fully operational, the Air Force will “take over and be responsible for their operation and maintenance”.

The equipment and what Fraport says

The contract specifies in detail the equipment to be acquired for the airports of Andravida, Chania, Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Araxos.

Specifically, the acquisition of the following systems is defined:

• Wide Area Multilateration System (WAM) / Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) at Chania and Andravida Airports including a similar number of terrestrial transponders / remote stations (maximum of four (4) terrestrial transponders / remote stations per MTMA) to cover the entire area (MTMA) and the required, per Service, Approach Control Centers (APPs) for Chania – Andravida and the Airport Control Towers in Chania, Andravida, Kefallinia, Araxos and Zakynthos, with up to ten (10) overhead jobs. traffic the maximum per MTMA. These systems will provide capacity equivalent to installing a single Secondary Surveillance Radar at each MTMA and will cooperate with the CAA’s Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) systems.

In the concession agreement of the 14 regional airports in Fraport Greece we also read that ‘the data communication links between the Approach Control Centers and the Airport Control Towers mentioned above, as well as the purchase / leasing / land acquisition and joint service projects utility for all terrestrial transponders / remote stations are excluded from the scope herein. ”

• Voice Communication System  (VCS) at the Access Services and Control Towers at Chania, Andravida, Kefallinia, Araxos and Zakynthos airports, with similar capacities of the managed frequencies and jobs to be deployed at each Control and Control Center. respectively, up to eight (8) jobs in total.

• Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System  (A-SMGCS) or an equivalent multilateration system for the provision of Routing, Guidance, Surveillance and Control of aircraft and vehicles within the airport of Chania with similar terminal equipment at the said Airport Control Towers.

Supply of equipment appears to have been lost in a maze of issues arising from the use of  formerly purely military airports  and civil aviation aircraft.
And while the issue was as daunting as the country’s airports were exclusively managed by the Civil Aviation Authority, it became a lame duck with the 14 airports in Fraport.

Indicative is the fact that in military airports also used by civilian aircraft (such as Chania or Andravida airports) the air traffic control and inland traffic management is the responsibility of the  Air Force  (PA), which, as stated, he will receive a price from the State for this reason. At the same time, however, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for these matters to Fraport Greece (manager of the 14 regional airports).

Outdated systems to be replaced do not allow airports such as Chania, Kefalonia and Zakynthos to utilize their full capacity, according to airline sources, resulting in less slots than they could handle.

The key to paving the way for the procurement of new systems lies somewhere between Air Force and CAA. The first is the one that has to issue the system specifications but the CAA has to deliver it to Fraport for the procedures to run.

Fraport Greece addressed to Euro2day.gr declares that it is ready to launch immediately the  procurement procedures  of these systems, having committed in advance the amount that will be required. A source at Fraport Greece told Euro2day.gr: “We have repeatedly asked the Greek State for three years (before the concession starts) to decide and inform us the type and  technical characteristics of air traffic management systems  that should our company supplied. Upon completion of the relevant preparation by the Greek State, our company will immediately begin the procurement process.

According to secure information, however, mobility has been recorded in the last month to block the supply of the systems. Euro2day.gr sources claim that the Air Force has met its own obligations as it has issued the specifications that the new systems will have to have. The “ball” is now allegedly on the side of  the Civil Aviation Authority  (CAA), which has to approve them in order to launch a competitive bidding process for the systems.

Panagiotis D. Weftanis

Source: https://www.euro2day.gr/

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