Donna Thiessen
(703) 875-4357


RIGA, LATVIA (September 23, 2008) – Building on the success of previous USTDA-supported collaboration in the modernization of Latvia’s air traffic management system, USTDA awarded a $690,170 grant today to the country’s air traffic administrator, State Joint Stock Company Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme (LGS). The grant will fund the development of a modernization plan to accommodate increasing passenger and flight volumes, including a comprehensive Air Traffic Control upgrade.

The USTDA grant was conferred in a signing ceremony at LGS headquarters. U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Charles W. Larson, Jr. and LGS’s Chairman of the Board Jānis Maršāns signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. Government and LGS, respectively. LGS Board Member Ilmārs Punka and Political and Economics Officer Joseph R. Babb of the U.S. Embassy in Riga signed as witnesses to the grant agreement.

In 2001, USTDA awarded a grant to LGS for investment analysis on a regional Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) system. The study led to the implementation of the CNS/ATM Application Staged Implementation and Conventional Airspace Development (CASCADE) project, which involved approximately $13.3 million in U.S. exports.

Since 2003, air traffic volume at Riga International Airport (RIA) has increased at unprecedented annual rates. Recently, two carriers have expressed interest in offering direct intercontinental flights out of RIA, and in establishing a regional maintenance hub. Continued growth in Latvia’s air traffic, however, necessitates further upgrades to LGS’s navigation and communications systems. To address this issue, the USTDA grant awarded today will fund the development of a consolidated modernization program and implementation timetable that LGS can utilize to safely accommodate increasing numbers of passengers.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded study for LGS will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. LGS will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the study.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.


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