Thales has a new contract with Iraq's Civil Aviation Authority to provide technology that will improve and modernize the nation's air traffic operations, the French aerospace manufacturer said Thursday Dec. 12.
Under a new contract for an undisclosed amount, Thales will provide its TopSky-ATC automation platform and three RSM970S secondary radars to support the Iraqi airspace modernization project. The contract brings the total number to Thales ATM centers and towers in the Middle East to 16, as the company also provides radar coverage for the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan making it the biggest air traffic management provider in the region.
Iraq and all Middle East air traffic management providers will need modernized systems to keep up with the projected increase in air traffic in the region over the next decade. The International Air Transport Association's 2013-2017 forecast released Tuesday Dec. 10 projected the Middle East as experiencing the largest increase in international air traffic among all regions worldwide, with UAE expected to add 29.2 million new passengers through 2017.
"As a destination, as a waypoint between the eastern and western hemispheres and as the hub for some of the world’s major airlines, the Middle East is a crucial ATM region. Iraq is in a vital regional and geographic position and as it comes out of a very difficult period, Thales will be there to support them in building a world class air traffic management network," said Jean-Marc Alias, vice president of Thales ATM.