The Planning and Control Department, responsible for the implementation of all government financed projects at Kuwait International Airport, has successfully brought on line a number of major projects over the last few years.
At the core of the Department’s workload is the Kuwait Airspace System Plan (KASP), a far-sighted initiative devised to endow KIA with the finest air navigation and communications systems available and keeping the DGCA in the vanguard of the Middle East’s civil aviation community. KASP comprises a series of independent, yet overlapping, projects that aim to ensure the safe and efficient operation of all aircraft using Kuwait airspace and to minimize the risk of possible incidents by utilising the latest aviation technology. These projects are encompassed within the following main project areas:
- Surveillance systems.
- Meteorological systems.
- Communication systems.
- Electrical infrastructure.
- Civil infrastructure.
- Ancillary services.
KASP projects brought on line and fully operational include the short-range Kuwait Approach Radar System (KARS), Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) and a Low Level Wind-shear Alert System (LLWAS). The highly advanced Kuwait Approach Radar System (KARS) is capable of tracking air traffic movements with a high degree of accuracy through its state-of-the-art Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR) and co-located Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR). Monitored by approach controllers from their perch high on the ninth floor of the control tower, the PSR provides highprecision aircraft detection, while MSSR furnishes aircraft identity and height information.
The sophisticated Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) – located off airport for improved performance – offers advance warning of server localised weather condition as well as excellent long-range rain and cloud detection capabilities (up to 100km and 230km radius respectively), while the new Low Level Wind-shear Alert System (LLWAS) is designed to give flight crews early warning to avoid potentially dangerous downdrafts. On the communication side, other KASP projects completed have been replacement of the airport’s 30- year-old telephone exchange (PABX) and installation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) and Kuwait Airport Data Interchange Network (KADIN).
The PABX system allows callers to dial just one free call number – 180 – and access a wealth of airport related information through a menu of options, including lost baggage tracking, suggestions and complaints, and realtime flight arrival and departure information. KIA’s new SCADA system is enabling better management of the airport’s 11kV power distribution system and features advanced self-diagnostic capabilities, enabling early fault location and rectification.
Part of KASP project also has been the installation of an airport-wide KADIN network comprising more than 30km of fibre-optic cabling, which will form the backbone of the airport’s evolving communications network. Kuwait Airport Data Interchange Network will eventually link the various KASP projects to the Control Centre and to other relevant departments around the airport. KADIN features 100% redundancy, so that, if problem develops with one part of the network, the system will automatically re-route to ensure continuity and integrity of the system.
Meteorology projects currently underway include a new, networked Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS) for the entire state and the introduction of a Meteorological Data Processing System (MDP), which will further revolutionise Kuwaiti weather reporting. Forthcoming KASP projects include a Long Range Radar system, South Power Building, further expansion and development of the Electrical Distribution Network, additional Service Infrastructure, and a Surface Movement Radar.
The main focus for the KD100m (around US$300m) KASP, however, will be the long awaited KIA Control Centre, conceived as a state-of-the-art communications hub for the entire airport. The complex, covering 20,000m2, will be situated on the south-east of the airfield, close to runway 33L/15R, and is designed to bring KIA’s meteorology, air navigation, communications and radar activities under a single roof for the first time, combining the various completed projects into a unified whole.