The new long range radar system at Bermuda’s international airport is up and running, Government announced today. *File photo
The new long range radar system at Bermuda’s international airport is up and running, Government announced today. *File photo

The new long range radar system at Bermuda’s international airport is up and running, Government announced today.

And the installation of the new gear, which gives a greater range, will put an end to delays in flights as the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) worked on the upgrade.

Tourism and Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell said: “While the work has been taking place over the past few months, the airport has been operating under standard, non-radar procedures which call for greater time separation between flights.

“This led to several departure delays which resulted in missed flight connections for some passengers. This is not good. We want to extend our apologies to those affected. Certainly, we would have liked to have returned to normal operations a lot sooner.”

The work also meant corporate and private jets faced delays in the peak afternoon travel period.

The work, which was expected to have been completed by July, was delayed due to “scheduling and technical issues surrounding the certification of the radar and the availability of additional replacement parts that are required to complete the project.”

The new radar will increase the range over the old equipment from 180 miles to 220 miles and help the FAA provide safer and more efficient air traffic management for Bermuda and traffic over the North Atlantic.

The radar is owned by the FAA while technical maintenance support is carried out by Bermuda, although the installation of the new equipment was carried out using FAA manpower and resources.

Mr Crockwell said: “This essentially means that we are subject to their timetable.”

Bermuda provides radar surveillance data to FAA air traffic controllers in New York, who then provide air traffic management services to aircraft transiting Bermuda’s air space.

Mr Crockwell added that FAA officials met Department of Airport Operations staff earlier this month to discuss the partnership arrangement and to identify ways that would help avoid delays in future FAA-led projects.