Modern Infrastructure for Air Navigation Services

29 November 2013

The Dominican Republic is located at the centre of the Antilles archipelago (or West Indies), between two of the Greater Antilles islands: Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east. It is bounded to the north by the Atlantic Ocean; to the east by the Mona Passage; to the south by the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by the Republic of Haiti. 

The territory of the Dominican Republic occupies more than two-thirds of the island called La Hispaniola by Christopher Columbus in 1492. When the city of Santo Domingo was founded in 1496, it became the first capital of Spain in the so-called new world, with university, cathedral and vice regal palace. These monuments, that are located in the colonial city of the Dominican capital, have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

The last national census in December 2010, showed a population of 9,445,281. The country is divided into 10 administrative regions, 31 provinces and the National District, where the capital of the Dominican Republic is located. 

Given that its strategic location at the heart of the Caribbean is favourable for travelling, the Dominican Republic tourism industry has become the main activity for socio-economic development. Thus, the development of air transport is closely linked to the country’s growth and national prosperity, through the infrastructure and activities related to tourism. 

In 2009 the Dominican Republic Aeronautical Complex was inaugurated. This consists of the modern Headquarters of Air Navigation and Traffic Control “Lic. Norge Botello“, which houses the Departments of Air Navigation, Flight Standards, and Safety Oversight of IDAC, responsible for the provision of air navigation services and to regulate, certify and oversee all aviation activities, respectively. It also houses the Academy of Aeronautical Sciences (ASCA). The Dominican Republic boasts eight international airports and a comprehensive system of Nav-Aids; an area control centre (ACC); two approach control offices and a flight information centre in Santo Domingo. In 2012 there were around 140,000 aircraft movements carrying more than 10 million passengers. 

Six of its eight international airports have RNAV/GNSS procedures for standardised approach, arrivals and departures. This, together with the National Aeronautical Telecommunications Network, the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) station for the MEVA Network and the Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS), installed and running internally, ensures the Dominican Republic is on track to meet its share of the aviation sector’s development. 

The facilities of a new and modern ACC will open in December 2013, with up to 16 positions for air traffic control, and capacity to receive 12 Mode S RADAR antennae simultaneously, with all its associated systems, such as communications, data link, flight data processor, etc. 

The Punta Cana International Airport, was recently upgraded with the construction of a new additional runway and aerodrome control tower, and this will also open in December 2013. The modern terminal control centre will complete the most advanced technology platform for the provision of air navigation services. 

In compliance with the tourism development part of the National Strategic Plan, the Dominican Republic’s current air navigation infrastructure will allow it to manage the expected growth of operations in the next five years. 

Latin America and Caribbean

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