Cayman Doppler Project Moves Forward, with Help from Europe

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - November 15, 2011

Above: a doppler radar

Two contracts have now been awarded to European companies, and a construction tender is now going out locally on the Cayman Islands’ Doppler weather radar station.

The contract to manufacture, supply and install the digital radar was awarded to SELEX Systems Integration, which is based in Germany. Another firm, ICON-INSTITUTE won the bid to provide a Technical Assistant on contract for the duration of the project.

The Cayman Islands Airport Authority is the lead agency on the project.

“It is anticipated that the construction tender will be awarded in December, and the tower should be completed by July next year, to coincide with the radar’s arrival,” said Jeremy Jackson, CEO of the CIAA. “The final phase will be the setup of equipment within the building and staff training.”

Jackson said the project would provide accurate weather information to forecasters and pilots, along with filling what he called a “black hole” in the region for regional radar coverage.

“Securing the funding for this important resource from the European Union took years of advocating by the Cabinet Office and I thank everyone involved for their ongoing commitment to see this through to completion,” said Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the Minister for District Administration, Works, Land and Agriculture.

The project got off the ground in March 2009, when CIAA and the EU signed a contract by which the EU would provide Cayman with a grant for about $5.6 million.

The radar will link with stations in Belize, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

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