FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2011
MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Steve Lewis | (703) 875-4357

U.S. GRANT SUPPORTS AIR TRAFFIC EFFICIENCY IN SOUTH AFRICA

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant today to the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Limited of South Africa (ATNS), South Africa's state-owned air traffic control and navigation services company. The $758,000 grant will fund a feasibility study to evaluate the technical, financial, environmental and other critical aspects involved in a proposed airside capacity enhancement project at international airports in South Africa.

The grant was signed at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria by Director Leocadia I. Zak on behalf of USTDA and Mr. Patrick Dlamini, ATNS CEO on behalf of ATNS. The feasibility study will promote regional integration, aviation safety and economic growth in South Africa.

"As the demand for air traffic services continues to grow in South Africa, the need for advanced technologies and innovative procedures will also increase to support such growth," Director Zak said. "This study provides an excellent opportunity for the United States to assist South Africa in exploring ways to enhance airside capacity."

Over the past several years, air traffic services have continued to increase as international trade and tourism grew in South Africa. To assist ATNS and the Airports Company of South Africa Limited (ACSA) overcome the challenge of improving air traffic services efficiencies at airports while maintaining safety standards, the feasibility study will identify ways that ATNS can use advanced technologies such as state-of-the-art radar, communications and navigation systems to increase airside capacity.

When implemented, the study will provide a roadmap to help U.S. companies increase sales into South Africa as ATNS implements the infrastructure upgrades necessary improve air traffic services. Currently ATNS and ACSA are focused on increasing capacity at Cape Town, King Shaka (Durban), and O.R. Tambo (Johannesburg) international airports, however, once enhancements have been successfully deployed at these airports, the companies are expected to make improvements at other airports throughout the country.

Historically, U.S. companies have been highly competitive in supplying equipment and services for airside enhancement projects like those being evaluated in South Africa. Improvements to the three international airports involved in this study could generate tens of millions of dollars in U.S. exports of equipment such as guidance control, weather observation, and airfield lighting systems.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded technical assistance will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. ATNS will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the study.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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