Written Answers. - Dublin Airport Radar System.

497.

asked the Minister for Communications if he is aware that the precision approach radar has not been working for some time at Dublin Airport and that the instrument landing systems are sometimes set off without warning, constituting a source of danger for incoming pilots; and if he proposes to install more up to date equipment.

Planning for the replacement of existing navigational facilities and for the provision of new facilities at the State airports is an on-going activity. This planning process takes account of operational and technical requirements expressed by relevant interests.

The precision approach radar at Dublin Airport was permanently withdrawn from service on 2 February 1984 because there was no longer any operational need for the facility as most airlines have a preference for an instrument landing system (ILS) as an approach aid.

Where interruption of service of air navigation facilities is necessary for maintenance or other foreseeable reasons users are given adequate advance warning in accordance with established procedures. Equipment failures may occur on occasions without notice but every effort is made to minimise such failures through regular preventive maintenance.

Arrangements are being made for the installation of a new VHF communications system and two new ILS facilities at Dublin Airport — one to replace the existing facility on the main runway with the other as a new facility on the secondary runway. These new facilities together with a new approach radar which was installed last year will meet all safety and operational needs at Dublin Airport.