Work begins on temporary radar site for Cairns

Airservices Australia, the national air traffic control service provider, has begun site preparation work for a temporary radar facility at Machans Beach.
Machans BeachThe temporary radar at Cecil Park in Sydney.
The radar will maintain the current levels of flight safety in the region while the permanent Cairns Terminal Area Radar is upgraded.
Airservices project manager Bruce Arnold said the $5.5m upgrade was part of a $80m nationwide infrastructure modernisation program to ensure the safe and efficient movement of air traffic in Australian airspace.
Cairns Airport is a vital link and an essential part of the Queensland tourism industry. Its imperative we ensure it continues to function safely and efficiently while this upgrade is carried out, Mr Arnold said.
We have been meticulous in our planning, particularly to minimise disruptions to our neighbours, the presidents of Machans Beach, he said.
The Machans Beach site is already owned by Airservices and was chosen to host the temporary radar because it is ideally located to accurately track aircraft approaching and departing Cairns Airport during the period the permanent radar is out of service.
Other locations were considered but technically unacceptable due to interference from buildings or the topography around Cairns airport.
The only suitable location on the airport itself is occupied by the radar to be upgraded by Airservices.
A transportable radar previously used in Sydney and Melbourne is being shipped to Cairns and will be used for up to 12 months while the upgrade is carried out.
It consists of a 10 metre tall tower with primary and secondary radar mounted on top. Other facilities on site will include an equipment shelter the size of a shipping container, a small demountable office and power supply equipment.
Airservices has also carried out a comprehensive safety assessment to ensure there are no risks to the environment or residents, the nearest of whom live more than 175m from the site.

At the end of the works Airservices will remove all equipment from the Machans Beach site.


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