Purchase of navigation equipment to push through

But RNAV will Stay

By Rudy Santos

June 24, 2010

MANILA - The purchase of a new Very High Frequency Omni Direction Radio Range (VOR) would push through even if the old busted navigational equipment had already been repaired and a new satellite-based navigational system will be activated in July by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Airport general manager Melvin Matibag said he had arranged for the purchase of the new equipment but the actual transaction would be done by the incoming administration to avoid any suspicion of wrongdoing in the bidding.

“Of course, we need a new VOR,” Matibag said, adding that the parts borrowed from the Subic VOR would be returned, while a new set of parts had been ordered from Europe and is about to arrive.

Matibag said that a competitive bidding would be announced by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for the new navigational aid, estimated to cost between P90 million to P120 million.

Based on a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the MIAA and the CAAP, the former would pay for the equipment, while the CAAP would operate and maintain it.

As this developed, CAAP director general Alfonso Cusi said he would propose a new arrangement so that the MIAA would buy and maintain the navigational aids at the country’s premier airport so that his office would be able to focus solely on regulation.

Cusi revealed that foreign technicians had been invited by the CAAP to come and bring the new parts for the damaged VOR, and also to assess and make a final recommendation on what to do with it.

Cusi announced in a press conference that come July 4, the CAAP would allow the use of the satellite-based Required Area Navigation (RNAV) system, the next generation navigation procedure that uses Ground Positioning System (GPS), whose signal comes from five satellites orbiting high above the earth.

The satellite is available for civilian use and there is no need for CAAP to buy new equipment.

Cusi said that FedEx, the cargo carrier company, had been using the RNAV for sometime now, following its launching and calibration by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The new standard would allow pilots to switch from VOR to RNAV in case any of the other navigational aids at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) fail.

Cusi said the GPS would be readily available for all airlines to use as instrument approach for MIAA runway 06/24.

GPS is a satellite technology that could phase out all other ground radio navigation aid, including the VOR .

Last Tuesday, Cebu Pacific lent their pilot and Airbus 319 to validate the accuracy of the RNAV approach procedure.

Cusi said that the VOR would remain on standby as additional redundancy to the other navigational aids at the NAIA, which include the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and other visual aids now in place.

These landing patterns are published and disseminated by the CAAP for use of all aircraft flying
into the Philippines and all of the 180-some members of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

He said the CAAP is leasing an Aerothai aircraft from Thailand to calibrate the VORs in Manila
, Clark, Subic, Mactan and the new RNAV departure and arrival procedures for the NAIA.

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