By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 28 September 2013:
An Italian company appears to have won a five-year deal with the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority to upgrade civilian air traffic control (ATC), beating off stiff international competition from among others NATS of the UK.
The Libya Herald understands that the multi-million dollar contracts are likely to be signed within two or three weeks.
The ENAV group with its subsidiary Techno Sky, it has won two tender relating to “the supply of consultancy, technical and training services to assist the modernisation of the LCAA systems and its organisational and regulatory processes”.
ENAV’s tender will involve the development of a plan to modernise air navigation services and boost the LCAA’s capacity to manage growing volumes of traffic in Libyan airspace. It will also be training managers whose job will be to run the changeover to the upgraded ATC system.
ENAV announced that its Techno Sky’s mandate with involve a strategic survey of Libya’s current ATC technology, so that “medium-term goals can be set to improve technical maintenance, logistics, plant and ground systems”.
ENAV CEO Massimo Garbini said: “These two important contracts are all the more important in a period of severe crisis in air transport. Moreover, we are proud to represent Italian excellence in a sector involving such advanced technical skills and specialisation”.
ENAV will doubtless see this deal as a further reward for the assistance that the group gave to Libya in the wake of the Revolution, when it provided free re-certification for Libyan air traffic controllers.
The first fruit of that support came last September when ENAV won a $1 million contract to stage two-week courses for 140 new Libyan air traffic specialists. A Libyan source close to the negotiations confirmed to this newspaper that ENAV’s readiness to become involved with the LCAA on a pro bono basis, at a time when budgets were far from clear, was one factor that weighed in the Italian group’s favour. The source went on to say that there were other ATC engagements to be awarded that had not been given to ENAV and Techno Sky.
A spokesman for the ENAV’s UK competitor NATS said today: “We are trying to understand exactly what this report means which, is why senior NATS staff are in country next week to engage with the Libyan CAA”.