Kaohsiung port, the largest in Taiwan and one of the most important ports in the world in terms of container traffic, is in full expansion with the construction of a new intercontinental container zone, a project that the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Taiwan and the Kaohsiung Port Branch (KPB) began in 2007. To increase its current loading capacity an increase in the size of cranes is necessary to about 150 metres in height in various docks of the port, which is equivalent to a building of 33 floors, such as the Agbar tower in Barcelona. However, the installation of such large cranes would be interfering with the current operations of Kaohsiung international airport, located just two kilometres away, and it would infringe upon the airport’s protection areas. With the objective that the Taiwanese Civil Aviation Authority allows the installation of the cranes, the port authority of Kaohsiung has commissioned a study whose objective is to demonstrate that the cranes will not negatively affect the safety of air operations. This project is being executed jointly by Ineco and the local company MiTAC.

In the context of the project, Ineco has already carried out a series of key activities with regard to evaluating the feasibility of an increase in the height of the cranes. Firstly, Ineco engineers have analysed both the maximum heights that the cranes could reach in each dock of the port without interfering with the instrument flight procedures published (including take-off, approach and landing manoeuvres and flights en route), as well as the modifications that would be necessary in the flight procedures for these to be compatible with the heights of the cranes required by Kaohsiung port authority in each of the port’s docks, thus ensuring the safety of these operations in accordance with the procedure design standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

To increase the current loading capacity of the Kaohsiung port it is necessary to increase the size of the cranes to about 150 metres in height in various docks of the port, which makes it necessary to modify the instrument flight procedures of the airport

Secondly, given that cranes of such large dimensions can be an obstacle for the correct transmission of electromagnetic signals of the air navigation facilities located in the vicinity, Ineco experts have studied their compatibility with all of the communications, navigation and surveillance systems that support the operations in Kaohsiung airport and in the surrounding air space, with 11 facilities in total being analysed, including instrument landing systems, primary and secondary surveillance radars, distance measuring equipment and communication centres. The examination of communications, navigation and surveillance systems (known as CNS systems) was carried out in terms of coverage and quality of the signal in space (through the study of potential multipath phenomena), with support from specialised radioelectric simulation tools.

Moreover, taking into account the new dimensions of the cranes, it was analysed in which way the obstacle limitation surfaces of Kaohsiung airport, established in Taiwanese regulations, would be infringed and recommendations were provided with respect to marking and lighting needs for the cranes that do so, in accordance with ICAO regulations. Lastly, Ineco provided the relevant recommendations regarding operations of the pilots.

The methodology for executing the previously mentioned analyses was also defined by Ineco, using for this purpose its extensive experience in studies of these kinds both in Spain and in other countries, and adopting the necessary hypotheses in each case, since cranes are mobile objects and since the model intended to be installed was not known.

As a result, the report shows, on one hand, for the 44 docks analysed the maximum achievable height compatible with the current instrument flight procedures, and the modifications necessary in these procedures (increase of the climb gradient in certain departures, modification of the operation minimums in various approaches, etc.) with regard to allowing the installation of cranes with the required height in each of the docks; moreover, with the objective of ensuring compatibility with current and future CNS systems, both the adaptations that must be carried out in the systems, when they are necessary and feasible, and the maximum heights that cranes can achieve to ensure that no adverse effects will occur (when there is no mitigation mechanism of this effect through the adaptation of systems) are depicted; lastly, the infringements of the protection surfaces over the 44 docks are detailed as well as the associated marking and lighting recommendations.

The methodology for executing the analyses was defined by Ineco, using for this purpose its extensive experience in studies of these kinds both in Spain and in other countries, and adopting the necessary hypotheses in each case

For years Ineco has carried out work relating to obstacle limitation surfaces, flight procedures or CNS systems in airports in Spain, Oman, the UAE, Cape Verde, Singapore and Kuwait, among other countries.


In the development of the programme, use was made of two of our own tools, developed through Ineco R&D projects: Impulse (in the case of studies about communications, navigation and surveillance systems) and Helios OLS (in the case of the analysis of obstacle limitation surfaces). Impulse is a software application that studies the way in which obstacles (in this case cranes) located in the environment of navigation and surveillance systems based on pulsed signals (such as distance measuring equipments, primary and secondary radars or multilateration systems), could affect the signal in the space of the equipment, also detecting potential areas or zones affected. This tool covers an important gap of applications of this type in the market and supports Ineco experts in the execution of these studies. With the Helios OLS tool, based on a geographic information system (GIS) and an extensive database, the obstacle limitation surfaces of the aerodromes (in this case, in accordance with Taiwanese legislation) or the surfaces protecting air navigation facilities can be defined. The compatibility of specific elements such as cranes can also be calculated with it.