Barbados Purchased US$4 Million Air Traffic Control Simulator – Now Broken And Unused


The Government Of Barbados paid US$4 million for a sophisticated Raytheon FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control Simulator to provide realistic training capabilities for Barbados air traffic controllers.

The equipment has been sitting broken and unused for over a year.


Well, folks… this is Barbados!

Barbados Free Press attempted to contact the Barbados Civil Aviation Department, the Director of Civil Aviation and the Barbados School of Air Traffic Services for an answer, but so far no reply.

We’ve also contacted Raytheon Canada Media Relations Director Val MacDonald but again, no answer so far…

Barbados Free Press
Grape Hall

Val MacDonald
Raytheon Canada Limited
919-72nd Avenue Northeast
Calgary, Alberta
T2E 8N9
Office: 403.295.6668

RE: Status of Raytheon Air Traffic Control Training Simulator, Barbados

Dear Val MacDonald

Barbados Free Press has been informed that the Raytheon FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control Simulator purchased for US$4 million dollars has been sitting broken and unused for over a year.

Would you kindly confirm the status of this equipment, when it was declared operational, and when it became unserviceable.

We would also be interested in knowing the number of training hours that was logged upon the simulator when it was operational.

Finally, would you please let us know the reason that the Barbados Raytheon FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control Simulator is unserviceable and when the country might have this equipment operational again.

Yours truly,

Marcus Davidoff
Senior Editor
Barbados Free Press

Please note: Our email is The address shown at the top of this email is a one-time-use temporary address and cannot be re-used.

FIRSTplus(TM) Air Traffic Control Simulator to Provide Realistic Training Capabilities for Barbados

RICHMOND, B.C., May 10, 2003 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Canada Limited has been selected to supply a FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control (ATC) Training Simulator to the Barbados Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Air Traffic Services.

The FIRSTplus ATC Simulator will allow the Ministry to conduct all aspects of ATC training such as ground, tower, terminal, radar/en-route and procedural
control as well as ATC radiotelephony and phraseology training. The system will be commissioned at the Grantley Adams International Airport, Christ
Church, by October 2004.

Raytheon will provide a turnkey FIRSTplus ATC Simulator that allows air traffic controllers to experience a new level of realism in procedural and
operational training. The Barbados system will include fully integrated communication and voice recognition capabilities, as well as a realistic
simulated control tower view. The FIRSTplus system enables any user to simulate any airport or radar airspace. The Barbados 3D Tower Simulator will
be customized to provide a lifelike 180-degree view of the Grantley Adams International Airport and its surroundings, replicating the actual environment
that Barbados air traffic controllers experience on the job.

“It is of primary importance to us that our air traffic controllers receive the best training available, and we are proud to have a system of its
kind in the Caribbean. The FIRSTplus system, in conjunction with our capable trainers, will ensure our students have access to the best tools and
instruction available for air traffic control training,” said Anthony Archer, technical director – Aviation, Barbados.
Raytheon Canada’s Director of ATC Simulation Geoff Murray commented, “We are pleased to welcome the Barbados Ministry of Tourism and International
– Transport as a new FIRSTplus user and member of the growing and global family of Raytheon ATC simulation customers.”

Raytheon Canada Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company, has more than 1400 employees throughout Canada who serve the aerospace and
defence sectors with a broad range of high technology products and services. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2003 sales of $18.1 billion, is an industry leader in defence and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 78,000 people worldwide.


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

22 responses to “Barbados Purchased US$4 Million Air Traffic Control Simulator – Now Broken And Unused

  1. Jason

    More of the same. Will this airport comedy of errors, thiefing and incompetence never end?

  2. Pingback: » Barbados Paid US$4 Million For Unused Air Traffic Control Simulator

  3. Bajanboy

    Looks like one hell of a video game.

  4. J. Payne

    I had no idea Raytheon put up the system in Barbados. Dat company is based in here in Massachusetts. The government should try contacting the headquarters in MA instead of the junior company to get an answer if the Junior company wont answer. The HQ will launch inquiries and get answers from their junior unit lest- they make a bad name for themselves in the world with other possible governments. Raytheon does lots of U.S. military contracts for bombs and such..–ID__11261–/free-co-factsheet.xhtml

    Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN)
    870 Winter St.
    Waltham, MA 02451-1449 (Map)
    Phone: 781-522-3000
    Fax: 781-522-3001


    Raytheon (“light of the gods”) has taken a shine to its place in the upper pantheon of US defense contractors (along with Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman). The company’s defense offerings include missile systems (Patriot, Sidewinder, and Tomahawk), radars, and reconnaissance, targeting, and navigation systems. Raytheon also makes radios, air traffic control systems and radars, and satellite communications systems. The company’s Raytheon Aircraft unit (which is being sold) makes turboprop aircraft and Beech and Hawker jets. Raytheon also offers commercial electronics products and services, but the US government accounts for nearly 85% of sales.
    (end quote)

  5. Adrian Loveridge

    10 September 2006 – Nation

    ‘They (Air Traffic Controllers) expressed concern about a faulty piece of euipment used to aid in the landing of aircraft which has broken down again’

    ‘Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Noel Lynch said last night negotiations were ongoing and his ministry was seeking to create the best working environment for the controllers’.

    17 September 2006 – Nation

    ‘Last week air traffic controllers staged a sickout to protest conditions under which they work, leaving management to man the operations. The controllers said areas of discontent included poor air quality, a faulty piece of euqipment that helps in landing aircraft, and a faulty phone system which cuts off communication between the controllers here and in other countries’.

    21 August 2007 – Nation

    Acting Director of Civil Aviation Mitchinson Beckles disclosed ‘that the Government is working with Raytheon, the international technology leader specialising in defenece and homeland security’.

    Just talk me through the process PLEASE!

    The Director of Civil Aviation would, based on consultations with his senior air traffic controllers, recommend a certain piece of equipment to the Minister and Ministry responsible for International Transport.
    The Minister (Noel Lynch) would then take those recommendations to Cabinet for approval (BDS$8 million) and then it would be debated in Parliament?

    Is that how it works?

  6. littleboy

    Do not expect an answer. Miracles still happen, but the BLP will never beaccountable to the people; arrogance is still their mantra
    MTW has several trucks down awaiting tyres…SSA, The Ambulance Service and Transport Board are little better off.
    But “the economy is poised for growth” is the constant cry;as if GDP is the only measuring stick a country uses to guage its development and comfort level of its inhabitants.
    Thank God Errol Barrow and co. did not use that method to determine what Barbadians needed for self-development.
    Oh, how some among us have mis-used their free education!!!

  7. other peoples money (OPM )

    this is what happens when the Barbadian public elects politicians who couldn’t operate a fruit and vegetable stand.

    They simply haven’t worked for private companies that have the rigors of checks and balances and must take in more money than they spend in order to survive.

    In short, they do not care where the money comes from and who has to pay it back.

    Its like playing musical chairs on the Titanic and the iceberg has been hit. Water is flooding in .

    Thank God for smoke and mirrors as well as the gullibility of the Barbadian electorate

  8. Be Happy

    I think that BFP took the right decision to “always moderate” (or was it ban?) David Brooks. He appears to be an unhappy, antagonistic person (perhaps he doesn’t sleep well after shooting so many innocent birds). What I do is, when I see certain names on this blog, I just don’t bother to read their comments, but thank heaven there aren’t many of them. The other antagonistic person was the “T.D.A.” guy, but if you think you got rid of him think again. Watch out for “Skippy” and “No Name” (or other names) now appearing on the DLP blog. This guy is slick and smarter than a rat.

  9. Stashin O.P.s

    Ladies and gentlemen-
    The Barbados Government!

    “Bringing to you the great cause of the personal and corporate offshore business account!”

    “Sponsored by a consultant near you!”

    “Remunerated by a project in your neightbourhood!”

    But let us remember, especially when we ponderously decide and then vote, that this is not “O.P.s”, that’s our money. The money of the Bajan people.

    It belongs to us, noit in your offshore accounts.

  10. Anonymous

    Only eight million Barbados VAT dollars down the drain.

    Plenty more where dah come from, man!
    Tired tell wunnuh, Barbados rich like Trinidad.

    We gyne soon have a blimp,too.
    Whuh if Trinidad could have one, we could have one too. Keeping up with the Joneses.

    Betcha Trinidad doan have no simulator…HA!


    DO politicians play their games
    like how you and I play Monopoly?

  11. MashUp en BuyBack!

    I’d like to propose a change in our national anthem.

    Let’s do away with the poor take-off of “To be a Farmer’s Son” (that’s another story, all by itself!!)
    and instead let’s adopt that very to-the-point soca tune of a few years back MASH UP EN BUY BACK.
    Translated: Destroy and Replace.

    This zippy alternative has ‘riddim’ and doesn’t sound like a national dirge,
    and if far more appropriate than all that tosh
    about these hills and fields and collapsing caves being ‘our very own’.

  12. National Plagiarism

    A friend of mine has a CD of old English country songs, the sort of music you don’t hear much of, the sort of folksy material that’s been around since Chaucer’s time.

    He played a track for me, and my mouth fell open.
    “To be a Farmer’s Son” has the exact same melody as our Bajan national anthem.

    Did ‘Chaucer’ copy our boy Burgie ?
    or did our boy Burgie plagiarise a very old trad. English country song,not known to many outside of English Country Life?

    Those of you who are into downloading music might come up with something …

  13. rasta man

    This is very interesting.Seems like nobody has principles these days.

  14. Citizen First

    I would like to hear “To be a Farmer’s Son”. Does anyone know of an online version of the song?

  15. FamilyB

    interesting tangent, my mother did tell me of some German friends of hers who hummed along to the National Anthem, having never heard it before … turns out it was a German folk song.


    I believe Raytheon is into weather control technology too and not the type to give us some nice rain for the crops either .

    I thought Burgie was only responsible fot the words and someone else the music and arrangements .

  17. Adrian Loveridge


    Well actually the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority has recently signed a deal with Italian company Selex System Intergrati for US$18.5 million to install primary and secondary radar and 4 controller positions in the ATC tower.

    Included in the cost is a service contract to
    maintain the equipment and train the staff.

    Seems like a good idea eh?

  18. ??

    Adrian L, Trinidad ATC covers a far greater area than us therefore additional cost but I agree that a Mtce contract is a good idea… successive Barbados administrations have invested millions in all areas for equipment and buildings and had no Mtce programs in place… a total waste.

    On the subject of radar was there not talk of a weather radar sometime in the near future… BFP can you check on the progress of this.

  19. Adrian Loveridge


    From a Caribbean Meteorological Organisation report ‘In October 2003, the European Commission approved a 13.2 million EURO Regional Project to construct and install four new digital weather radar in the Caribbean to replace an old and obsolete radar network’.

    ‘The project will link the new radars with others already in place to form a modern network of nine radars as part of the Caribbean Early Warning System for severe weather conditions’.

    ‘Four new Doppler digital radars in Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, which will provide continuous real-time radar coverage out of 400 kilometres for each site and which will enable the National Metreological Services to provide images and guidance to the public and key local sectors, such as the aviation industry, the water resources sector, agriculture and disaster preparedness officials’.

    ‘A memorandum of Understanding, for the ownership and operation of the radar, were signed between CARIFORUM and the Government of Barbados’.

    The BIG question is then, did they install the new Doppler Radar or are we still operating on ‘old and
    obsolete’ equipment?

    Bearing in mind within the last few days ,TWO potentially devasting tropical storms that have developed into Force 5 hurricanes have passed very close to us, surely we need better than ‘old and obsolete radar’?

    Isn’t is a reasonable question to expect an answer from?

  20. J. Payne

    Just GOT back from Labour Day Carnival in NYC. Guilianni sure gutted the hell out of it. I glad that man is gone, but his once presence still wafts through the air.

    While down there I realize a GREAT many songs now are copies….

    Rihanna’s – SOS for example?
    Think back to the band U2 – Tainted Love

    Square One’s – Carnival Baby??
    Two words – Lord Kitchener.

    Square One’s – Bam Bam?
    Anyone remember Speedy’s version?

    “We Nah—– Goin’ Home Til the Morning Come….”
    Any remember the **original** song’s line??? By U2????
    “I stilll—— haven’t found what I’m looking for…”

    Then there was the scandal in Trinidad a few years back when two of the more popular songs were found to be copies.

    The song celebrate — by Faye-Ann Lyons.
    None other than a part of “A-Ha’s” song – Take On Me from the ’80s.

    And there was scandal with Machel Montano & Patrice Roberts’ song — Band of the Year. Accusations started flying that it was lifted from Enya’s song “Caribbean Blue”. More about that…

    For a while Soca/Calypso was mostly singing or copying nursery rhymes and thinking that was ‘cute’ glad that outdated phase is largely over as sung about by the artist Crazy in the song “Ah hear dat already”

    Copying music is the “in” thing now… Surely we can take some– level of pride that we may have uncovered the technique 40 years before it was the fashionable thing to do? 🙂

  21. J. Payne

    Few other ones.

    Rupee’s – J.U.M.P
    Was The Isley Brothers “Shout”
    Original song lyrics see link.

    Kevin Lyttle’s – Turn Me On
    was group One-Twelve “112” ‘s song “All My Love”

    The Trinidad Soca song “Its Carnival” with Machel Montano is also originally by Cindy Loffer.

    There’s a reason crowds move so well by these songs. They are oldies but goodies.