Aviation & Airports
Shiraz Electronics, an Iranian company, was awarded a contract to manufacture a high-tech device used in the airports to further increase the country’s self-sufficiency and curb Tehran’s reliance on Western companies in the aviation industry.
A senior official at Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company (IAC) Ahmad Momeni Rokh said on Saturday that Shiraz Electronics, a subsidiary of Iran’s IEI Corporations, had been commissioned last month to produce distance measuring equipment (DME), a device for which Iran normally relied on Western suppliers.
Ahmad Momeni Rokh said Iran would become the first country in the region to manufacture the DMEs, saying the device would seriously improve the approach control services in the Iranian airports at a time the country’s aviation industry is supposed to suffer from sanctions imposed by the United States.
Momeni Rokh said Iran is increasingly using local companies and start-ups to produce complex devices used in the airports and to offset the impacts of the American sanctions on air transport.
He said sanctions had in fact led to a boom in domestic production of sensitive and modern devices used in the aviation industry.
Among major equipment commissioned by the IAC to the Iranian companies, he said, were MSSR radars, friction testers, and recorders used across the air traffic control systems.
He said a local company had managed to carry out a successful reverse engineering on friction testers, devices that are exclusively manufactured in Western Europe where companies normally refrain from engaging in deals with Iran due to the US sanctions.
On MSSR radar, a modern system used to substantially increase the safety of the flights, he said Iran would get the delivery of a first batch of domestically-produced radars in late 2021.
The official said that Isfahan University of Technology and IAC were finalizing an agreement for production of MSSR/Mode S radars.
On Monday, Head of Iran Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Ali Abedzadeh stressed ineffectiveness of the US sanctions in barring Tehran from renovating its civil air fleet.
"Purchase of airplanes continues and the sanctions have failed to stop this trend," Abedzadeh told reporters in Tehran.
In October, Iran’s Deputy Transportation Minister Shahram Adamnejad announced that the country’s largest airline IranAir has posted an operating profit for the last local calendar year ending on March 20, 2019, highlighting that the achievement was made despite all US sanctions against the country’s aviation industry.
Late in September, Iranian officials announced that the country has already completed sophisticated maintenance checks for two of its 2-year-old ATR airplanes, adding that domestic companies will finish the job by March 2020 despite US sanctions against Tehran’s aviation industry.
National carrier IranAir (Homa) said that complicated airworthiness checks for a second ATR turboprop had already finished in a hangar of the company in Tehran, recounting the details for a maintenance program for all 13 aircraft delivered by the ATR company two years ago.
Early in July, Director General of Iran Air Touraj Zangeneh said that his company has achieved self-sufficiency in repairing and maintaining its fleet, despite the US unilateral sanctions which have cut the flag-carrier’s access to parts and technical supports from original makers.
"In the past, all checks of Iran Air were conducted by foreign technicians, but currently the process from the first to the last phases of the planes maintenance is being done by Iranian experts," Zangeneh said, at the ceremony to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the downing of Iranian passenger plane by a US Navy guided-missile cruiser in the Persian Gulf waters.
The enemies of Iran, particularly the US, aimed to deprive Iran's airlines of refurbishing the air fleet by sanctions, but the Iranian experts not only foiled the plot intelligently, but also they decisively advanced the industry, the head of Iran Air said.
"Iranian airlines have always been targeted by the US sanctions and attacks since the year 1980, beginning with not allowing the Iranian Boeing 747 to land at New York airport," he said.
The approach went on with targeting Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf by the warship USS Vincennes in 1988, he noted.
The more regrettable move by the US was that Washington did not condemn the inhumane tragedy, and instead awarded the commander of the warship a medal of valor, the official said.