New air traffic control centre in Tbilisi

A stone laying ceremony of Tbilisi Air Traffic Centre on July 23, 2014. Photo by, 24 Jul 2014 - 19:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

A new Tbilisi Air Traffic Centre is currently being built in the capital city with the aim of improving aviation standards and flight safety in Georgia.

The new centre, which will be commissioned in two years, will be responsible for the airspace over Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi airports, as well as the airspace under the control of Georgia’s authority.

More than 7 million GEL will be spent om building the new centre, which will be fitted with modern technologies.

Wednesday's stone laying ceremony was attended by Government officials including Vice Premier Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the newly elected Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania.

"The development of an air traffic control system is very important to reduce air traffic accidents. A modern air supervisor uses a number of technologies to ensure safe and consistent flights,” Kvirikashvili said.

The organisation that monitors and provides aviation services in Georgia – Sakaeronavigatsia - said the stand-by set of the main system would be included in the functions of the new center.

"In case of the main system failing, shifting to a stand-by system enables the air traffic controllers to continue smooth operations,” said the director of Sakaeronavigatsia Gocha Mezvrishvili.

Georgian-based company Dagi won the tender to built the new center and will employ about 200 people.

Kvirikashvili said the European organisation for the safety of air navigation - Eurocontrol, in which Georgia was a member - had been developing the concept of a centralised services of air traffic management.

Georgia has been a member of Eurocontrol since 2014 ans according to the Minister, the organisation is developing the concept of centralized services of air traffic management to promote Single European Sky.

"The concept aims to provide so-called additional services for air traffic management by implementing modern technologies that will reduce the additional costs for airliners. The project will give an opportunity to air-navigation service centers of Eurocontrol’s member states to offer their services in 40 Eurocontrol member states,” Kvirikashvili said.

An international tender to purchase a new system for air traffic control will be announced later in 2014. The estimated cost of the tender is about €9 million.