01 Aug 2016
Stratech deal to install surveillance system for runway worth millions
By: Karamjit Kaur Aviation Correspondent, Straits Times
A SINGAPORE firm that keeps watch over Changi Airport's runways has bagged a multi-million-dollar contract to install a similar system at Dubai airport.
Stratech Systems beat British incumbent QinetiQ in the keenly contested fight, The Straits Times has learnt.
The Dubai airport uses QinetiQ's technology for runway surveillance.
Stratech will install its iFerret technology, which uses sensors to ensure that airport runways and taxiways are clear of debris that can led to serious accidents.
When objects are detected, the system alerts staff at the operations centre.
The technology , which was installed at Changi Airport in 2011 after a two-year trial, provides round-the-clock watch over Changi's two runways and complements other surveillance measures such as manual checks.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Dusseldorf International Airport in Germany also use iFerret.
The Dubai win, achieved in partnership with Middle Eastern firm Bayanat Airports Engineering and Supplies, is a significant one for Stratech, said its executive chairman David Chew.
He said: "Dubai International Airport is one of the top airport hubs and handles more than 60 million passengers and aircraft movements in excess of 300,000 annually. We are confident that iFerret will rise to the occasion and enhance aviation safety."
Stratech will complete the iFerret installation at the airport's two existing runways by early next year, Mr Chew said.
With its foot firmly in Dubai, Stratech is gunning for other airport projects in the fast-growing region, he added, noting that there are more than 280 commercial airports and military airbases in the Middle East.
He said: "There is great potential in this region for automated FOD (foreign object debris) detection systems, airside surveillance and network intelligence systems."
Industry experts said while many airports rely on manual runway checks, automation is the way to go as a growing number of travellers and flights take to the skies.
The International Air Transport Association said an average of eight million people fly every day.
Last year, total passenger numbers hit 3.1 billion, surpassing the three billion for the first time. The number is expected to grow to 3.3 billion this year or 44 per cent of the world's population.