Thales UK announced that its Cat III Instrument Landing System (ILS) has received UK approval for installation at Bournemouth Airport. This is the first Cat III ILS approval obtained by Thales in the UK and, along will other upgrades at the airport, will allow aircraft operation in low-visibility conditions.
Thales signed a contract with Bournemouth Airport last year to supply and install a Cat III 420 ILS and an Instrument Runway Visual Range (IRVR) . Thales UK now has orders for more than 30 Thales 420 ILS systems, which are being supplied to the Ministry of Defence and regional airports in the UK. This is the first contract that Thales has been awarded since the signing of a Framework Agreement with The Manchester Airports Group plc (MAG) for the provision of specialist aviation-related services and products to all airports in The Manchester Airports Group of Companies. This includes Manchester Airport, East Midlands Airport, Bournemouth Airport and Humberside Airport. During 2009 Thales signed a second contract with MAG plc to supply and install two Cat III 420 ILS and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) to Manchester Airport. MAG plc is the countrys largest UK-owned airport operator; their four airports currently serve more than 29 million passengers each year. Bournemouth Airport is a key national and international gateway to Southern England, connecting more than 900,000 passengers to over 60 destinations every year. Steve Hill, Vice President and Managing Director of Thales UKs air systems business, says: This approval further increases our footprint in this market and represents a significant opportunity to build on this success and become one of the leading suppliers of Navaids in the UK market. It further provides an acknowledgement of our capabilities and expertise in this area. Rob Goldsmith, Managing Director at Bournemouth Airport, says: As part of Manchester Airport Groups major investment in developing Bournemouth Airport, the installation of the Thales Cat III ILS and IRVR has been a great success. The enhancement to the airports operational capabilities will be of great benefit to our customers in the future.