Taiwan has activated a new long-range radar system in New Taipei to monitor its skies. Located in Cape Santiago, the radar can detect flights up to 250 nautical miles away. It replaces an older system that’s been in service for more than 20 years. According to the transport minister, a second new long-range system will be activated in Pingtung next January.

Transport minister Wang Kwo-tsai and Civil Aeronautics Administration Director General Lin Kuo-shian headed to a radar station at New Taipei’s Cape Santiago. Together, they activated a new radar system.

Lin Kuo-shian

Civil Aeronautics Administration

This radar station is in line with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization. It can detect the position of the newest aircraft models.

Wang Kwo-tsai

Transport minister

The Taipei Flight Information Region is extremely important globally. It oversees and manages the operations of 18 international flight routes.

Installing the new long-range radar at Cape Santiago was no easy task. Workers had to endure rocky mountain roads, and brave the inclement weather blown in by northeasterly winds. It took one whole year of high-altitude work to get the system ready.

Taiwan currently operates nine terminal area radars with a range of between 60 and 200 nautical miles in Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taitung, Penghu and Kinmen. Taiwan also has two long-range radars, which can detect more than 1,000 aircraft at up to 250 nautical miles away. These two are located in New Taipei’s Cape Santiago and Pingtung’s Eluanbi. Altogether they monitor flights in 18 international air corridors, mainly to and from the U.S., Canada, Japan and South Korea. The network is an important part of air traffic management in the region. It also allows Taiwan to raise the alarm over military planes, as it has full coverage surrounding the island.

Wang Kwo-tsai

Transport minister

It should be able to help the Ministry of National Defense detect Chinese warplanes. As the ones in charge of the Taipei Flight Information Region, using the latest long-range radar technology is a way to fulfill our international responsibilities. I hope that the completion of this radar station can help Taiwan be seen by the world.

The radar stations at Cape Santiago and Eluanbi have been in use for more than 20 years, and the government previously set aside a budget of NT$676 million to upgrade the installations. Construction at Eluanbi is slated to be completed in January next year. Together, the stations in the north and south are the eyes that guard Taiwan’s airspace.