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Dec 2, 2015

Department of Civil Aviation to Receive Multi-Million $$$ Upgrade

Almost ten million dollars will be spent to improve systems at air traffic control. The signing of an agreement between three parties took place this morning at the Department of Civil Aviation office. The upgrade will place Belize among the top five countries presently using advance technology for aviation. Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The signing of an agreement between the Department of Civil Aviation, COCESNA, and Spanish information technology and defense systems company, Indra, for the upgrading ofBelize’s air traffic control mechanism will see a significant financial investment by all parties in the months ahead.

 

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation

Manuel Heredia

“The Government of Belize and COCESNA are in the process of carrying out a nine point five million dollar project for a state-of-the-art modernization of our air traffic control tower, our radar, control center, our meteorological system, including all other associated components of the air traffic services systems.  Such modernization will immensely enhance the provisions of the air traffic services in Belize and is in line with the world’s huge technological advancement in air traffic management.”

 

The technology to be employed in the transformation of the existing air traffic control system will placeBelizeamong very few countries that are presently utilizing modern equipment in air navigation.

 

Enrique Castillo

Enrique Castillo, Dir., Latin America, Indra Systems

“Belize would be, I think, [amongst] one of the [top] three to five countries in the world to have this technology.  In the next few years it will be the standard.  We have been delivering air traffic control systems in over one hundred and forty countries for over ninety years so we have been long in the industry.  And Belize will share technology, air traffic management technology with countries such as China, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain, just to name a few.  So what will this technology translate into?  Belize will be able not only to maintain a high standard in safety for air navigation which is the most important role when you are managing air traffic but it will also become more efficient.”

 

The upgrade should see an economic boost since it is expected that more flights will be bound forBelizefrom various points of departure.

 

Jorge Vargas, Executive President, COCESNA

Jorge Vargas

“We’re doing a huge investment for Belize.  For the next five years, COCESNA is thinking, with the planning of Mr. Garbutt as a representative of the Belizean government on the board of COCESNA, to invest between twelve to fourteen million dollars in the next five years in Belize.  To accomplish requirements for safety and efficiency for the air navigation sector for the industry in Belize.  We note that this effort that COCESNA is doing is going to help and improve a lot the economy in this beautiful country which I’m very glad to be here today.”

 

According to Director of Civil Aviation, Lindsay Garbutt, the partnership with COCESNA on the forthcoming initiative has been two years in the making.

 

Lindsey Garbutt

Lindsey Garbutt, Director of Civil Aviation

“We have been working for the last two years with COCESNA to ensure, I guess probably more than any other industry, the civil  aviation industry lives off technology and the constant improvement of technology with a view of making it safer and more environmentally friendly.  So we were fortunate that we were among the first, along with Costa Rica to convince COCESNA to make this investment that they are going to make throughout the region.  We are looking at something, I guess in reference to what happened last year we certainly recognize that we need to bring our technology up to date so that our air traffic controllers can have the best possible situation as airlines move above and land and take off from Belize.  So this whole thing is to improve security and safety in our skies.”

 

Isani Cayetano for News Five.

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