The prime contractor for airfield air traffic management services to the UK Ministry of Defence has expanded to provide technical services for weather forecasting.

Aquila Air Traffic Management Services (Aquila) is upgrading and supporting air traffic control systems at more than sixty Ministry of Defence (MOD) air stations across the UK and overseas. Today it announced it had been awarded a further contract by the MOD to provide and support a new weather forecasting radar to Royal Air Force (RAF) Akrotiri on Cyprus.

The new state-of-the-art radar will provide accurate and reliable weather forecasting information to the Royal Air Force. It will enable operations teams to manage the safe take-off and landing of flights and effectively plan flight operations at the strategic base in the Mediterranean. The radar will also supply weather forecasting information to the UK Met Office.

Aquila has chosen global weather and environmental measurement technology leader Vaisala to supply and install the new radar. The WRM200 C-band magnetron radar will provide high fidelity weather data, allowing air traffic controllers to accurately plan safe aircraft manoeuvres for UK Forces and their allies well into the future.

Aquila engineers based on the island will maintain and support the new radar to assure its continued operation until at least 2032 under the new partnership.

The partnership with the MOD, known as Project BOREAS, is worth £3.9 million. It comes after Aquila was awarded an additional contract by the MOD for the provision of air defence system services in the Falkland Islands and South West of England from 2021.

Head of Global Operations at Aquila, Trevor Barnes, speaking from Cyprus said, “This partnership further underlines Aquila’s ability to deliver a trusted service to our valued customer in support of our Armed Forces. It demonstrates we are able to extend our experience, technical skill and partnership to other domains beyond air traffic management.

“Our regional teams provide a ready-made solution to support a range of critical communications, navigation and surveillance operations and infrastructure. Our presence across the UK and at strategic sites across the globe means we can offer cost-effective, resilient local and national services.

“Following the recent expansion of our air defence services to the MOD, weather surveillance is another logical area for partnership. The MOD’s selection of Aquila is further testament to our dedicated service.  We look forward to working with Vaisala, the MOD and other providers and users of weather services in the future.”