US Will Overhaul Manas Control Tower

The United States will erect a new air control tower at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, and modernize the Central Asian nation’s en route air traffic surveillance system under a foreign military sales arrangement. Lt. Gen. Ted Bowlds, commander of the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., led a delegation to Kyrgyzstan in mid September to discuss the effort. Kyrgyz Transportation Minister Erkin Isakov and he signed an agreement on Sept. 21 for the FMS process to proceed. “It will allow us to build a foundation for a robust countrywide air traffic control system with increased safety and greater efficiency for all users,” said Bowlds. Manas is an important coalition air hub for ferrying troops and supplies to Afghanistan. ESC officials anticipate awarding contracts for this work next spring and completing the work within two-and-a-half years. (Hanscom report by Chuck Paone)