Friday, July 31, 2015

Federal investment will bring enhanced radar systems for Port of Prince Rupert

A new radar system for Prince Rupert
Harbour will provide for additional
safety and information for vessels
calling on the Port of Prince Rupert
The transit of the waters surrounding the Port of Prince Rupert will be safer in the future with the announcement today of Federal funding for a shore based radar system that will improve the capability of monitoring vessel movements in the area.

The project which is estimated to cost five million dollars, will benefit from two million dollars of funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The arrival of the new radar component is designed to accommodate growth in vessel traffic that is currently taking place owing to historic levels of trade between Canada and Asia-Pacific nations, with the prospect of even more shipments through the Port of Prince Rupert anticipated should some of the  major developments proposed for the region move forward in the years to come.

“This project will result in a new and foundational piece of our marine safety and security network at the Port of Prince Rupert, providing an additional layer to the maritime picture we use to keep our harbour safe and ensure a diverse range of cargoes continue to flow securely through our trade gateway ... Our local partnerships enable improvements like this to make a safe port even safer, and matching investments from senior government organizations allow us to carry forward our long term development vision in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.” -- Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert speaking to harbour safety plans for the region.

The Marine Traffic Centre at Seal
Cove will see enhanced radar
coverage introduced next year
When completed and operational in the fall of 2016, the radar system to be put in place will make use of three tower locations to provide coverage from a geographic area that includes Northeast of Haida Gwaii and around Prince Rupert up to the Alaska border.

The areas to be utilized for the three tower system include, Mount Hays, Ridley island and Dundas Island.

Once it is operational the new system will provide for a real time visual network for the Coast Guards Marine Communications and Traffic Service facility at Seal Cove to track and allow for the  gathering of enhanced information on a range of vessels transiting the area.

The RCMP will also make use of the information system, with Sean Bourrie, the Chief Superintendent responsible for Federal policing in British Columbia outlining the ways that the radar system will be of use to the federal force.

 "This investment in shore-based radar coverage of the British Columbia northern coastline around Prince Rupert is an important contribution to Canada's public safety and the strategic priorities of the RCMP  ... This tool will help us gather and analyse intelligence at the port and from the surrounding maritime environment in support of our law enforcement initiatives."

Construction related to the installation of the new radar system towers and equipment will begin in the weeks ahead, with an eye towards the completion date in the fall of next year.

The reach of a new radar system to be installed to provide
enhanced coverage of Prince Rupert Harbour and beyond

The operation maintenance of the radar system on the North Coast will be provided by the Canadian Coast Guard through Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

More background on today's announcement can be found from this media release from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

For more items related to development at the Port see our archive page here.

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