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New Control Tower does not work at night

Herbert Mujica Rojas

In a letter dated 3-20-2023 and addressed to the general manager of Corpac SA, Miguel Moreno, the Unified Union of Air Traffic Controllers of Peru, SUCTA, warned about a delicate situation that to date no one knows if it has been resolved.

There is no document announcing the solution to these irregularities that affect the new Control Tower announced by the Jorge Chávez Airport concession company, Lima Airport Partners, LAP.

The document says:

“About him a lampit is observed that the circular ceiling has been changing color of the environment with black paint, it will have to be seen if this added to the lights that indicate that they are going to be changed -for the third time- will give a solution to the problem that other CTAS have previously indicated, the blinding reflection that hinders the work of the CTA in night operations, topic that is crucial. The lights must be very discreet -not omnidirectional- and oriented to the keyboard position of the CTAS and supervisors, it is imperative that they have adjustable intensity to adjust them to the need according to the penumbra. Without a nightly rehearsal with the solution to these problems the air traffic control service is not recommended, accepting the job otherwise would be a security breach.”

There are two sensitive issues:

-The blinding reflection of the windows of the Control Tower that interfere, hinder, disturb, at night, the work of traffic controllers; and,

-To lessen or attenuate this inconvenient effect, the color of the circular low ceiling was changed, and this would have —according to the attached document— happened up to 3 times to date.

If these mishaps are not resolved, the union warns: “Without a nightly rehearsal with the solution to these problems the air traffic control service is not recommended, accepting the job otherwise would be a security breach.”

Comparisons go a long way to show inaccuracies.

In Mexico, the Army Corps of Engineers of that country, buying from the private company that “made” it and with a saving of 25% on the total price, built an airport with 3 runways!, much bigger than Jorge Chávez in less than 3 years and it was inaugurated in 2022.

And the concession firm Lima Airport Partners, after 2 decades, is just going to deliver the second runway, the new Control Tower (with serious security problems?) and the terminal afterwards.

If the Control Tower does not work at night due to those reflexes that hinder the full and efficient task of air traffic controllers, and it only provides service during the day, then we have a good operational half and the other, unused. (See in the photo, the reflections of the luminaires on the roof of the tower).

Following the reasoning, then LAP, it could also deliver a new runway whose total runway length built is 3,480 m. and that, however, only 2,830 m will be used for aircraft landing, that is, they are providing all Peruvians with a runway whose length is almost 25% less than the current runway.

Experts in the matter regret that an airport as important as Lima, which deserved to have a runway of a similar or greater length than the current one, now has a new runway of a much shorter length.

Professional specialists in the construction of airstrips are surprised that a new airstrip starts operations with a runway threshold (start) displaced by 650 m. that will never be used. And the DGAC did not know about this deception to all Peruvians?

All the addenda requested by LAP since 2001, 8 in total, favor the concessionaire.

In 2003, 20 years ago, in addendum 4, the rotund gentlemen of LAP, placed a clause that said:

In the event that the existing technological advances at the time the construction of the second runway should begin make its construction useless or partially useless, the Grantor, previously counting on the technical opinion of OSITRAN, may modify or substitute the obligation of the Concessionaire to build the second runway. This right is exclusive to the Grantor and must be exercised no later than twelve (12) months after the completion of the delivery procedure.LAP: II Track for 2020!

It is obvious that those from LAP realized that the construction of the II runway cannot be replaced by any mischief or technocratic loathing and they have taken more than 2 decades to do it!…and what is worse, deceiving all Peruvians by delivering a control tower with serious deficiencies in the windows and an airstrip where 650 m of the 3,480 m that have been built will never be used!

04.04.2023

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