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Instrument landing improved for Canberra Airport

By johnboy - 6 July 2012 6

Australian Aviation brings word that the long awaited terminal area radar and instrument landing system has been turned on atop Mount Majura for Canberra Airport:

The new terminal area radar on Mount Majura was commissioned in May, and required a temporary radar to be erected at Sandra’s View to maintain aircraft safety while the new radar was constructed.

The radar replacement followed an upgrade by Airservices to the ILS at the airport, which now enables pilots to navigate to the runway during reduced visibility conditions

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6 Responses to
Instrument landing improved for Canberra Airport
LSWCHP 10:28 pm 06 Jul 12

I flew into LAX a few years ago on a Qantas 747. I was looking out the window waiting for us to break out of the dense cloud, and expecting to see the suburbs appear a few thousand feet below us. I can still recall the astonishment I felt when the runway appeared instead, and the wheels hit the deck a few seconds later. I couldn’t even see the wingtips through the fog.

It was astounding stuff, particularly given that my life was dependent on the successful operation of all this technology. I wonder what it feels like to be the driver under those circumstances. Are there any pilots here who are familiar with this kit?

Grrrr 5:55 pm 06 Jul 12

The Crimes said a week ago that it’s still Cat I, and the recent work will allow them to upgrade it to Cat II:
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/radar-upgrade-puts-safety-on-higher-plane-20120628-215ka.html

davo101 5:03 pm 06 Jul 12

JC said :

The system installed at Canberra is a catagory II system which means the a/c must be able to see the runway from 350m out and 100ft off the ground as they pass over the end of the runway. So fog will still effect flights into Canberra just not as much.

According to Airservice Australia:

The new ILS enables pilots to navigate to the runway when visibility is reduced to approximately 600 feet (vertically) and two kilometres (laterally).

Which I hope is wrong, or else they’ve managed to install a Cat I system 🙂

JC 2:34 pm 06 Jul 12

EvanJames said :

Finally. How long ago was it that the yellow plane with the stick poking out of its backside was mapping the region?

Means people won’t have to take ridiculously early flights to ensure they get to their destination on foggy days. Although from memory, only Qantas are able to take advantage of this system.

The system installed at Canberra is a catagory II system which means the a/c must be able to see the runway from 350m out and 100ft off the ground as they pass over the end of the runway. So fog will still effect flights into Canberra just not as much.

As for which aircraft can use it I think you will find that Qantas and Vigin both have 737’s that are capable, not sure about the bug smashers both airlines use though.

caf 2:02 pm 06 Jul 12

EvanJames said :

Although from memory, only Qantas are able to take advantage of this system.

This does not seem likely.

EvanJames 11:52 am 06 Jul 12

Finally. How long ago was it that the yellow plane with the stick poking out of its backside was mapping the region?

Means people won’t have to take ridiculously early flights to ensure they get to their destination on foggy days. Although from memory, only Qantas are able to take advantage of this system.

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