President Saakashvili hailed “very good relations” with France and thanked that country for providing assistance to Georgia’s “infrastructure modernization”.
Saakashvili was speaking on April 22 after visiting an air traffic control system, installed in Black Sea port town of Poti by the Thales Group, defence and civil aviation electronics company, part-owned by the French state.
“I want to emphasize on those very good relations, which we have with France,” Saakashvili said at a ceremony in Poti in presence of French Secretary of State for Transport Thierry Mariani.
He said that France “in the shortest period of time” replaced radar systems in Tbilisi, damaged in the August war.
“We have huge plans of cooperation for Georgia’s infrastructure modernization. France has one of the best infrastructures in the world and one of the best engineering experiences and France is probably the largest supporter to Georgia’s modernization in this regard,” Saakashvili said.
Thales has become a major provider of air traffic control systems to Georgia. In December, 2008 Georgian state-owned air navigation service provider, Sakaeronavigatsia Ltd., and Thales signed a contract for the replacement of both primary and secondary radars at Tbilisi international airport. Thales installed new radars in Tbilisi in summer, 2009 and provided RSM 970 radar in Poti.
Saakashvili said that the air traffic control system in Poti would serve the new airport in the port town, which, he said, would go into operation from 2012.