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Tower cranes threat aircraft landing

The Indira Gandhi International Airport's (IGIA) hospitality district is again in the news for wrong reason. This time, it is not about security issues but the safety of planes landing at the airport.

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2011 00:56 IST
HT Correspondent

The Indira Gandhi International Airport's (IGIA) hospitality district is again in the news for wrong reason. This time, it is not about security issues but the safety of planes landing at the airport.

The hospitality district, which is next to the flight path of planes landing at the main runway (runway 10/28), is hampering the operation of the runway's sophisticated Instrument Landing System (ILS). The ILS of the main runway allows aircraft to land when visibility is as low as 50m due to fog or heavy rains.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages air traffic at the airport, has found out in a routine check of the ILS that there is deterioration in the sensitivity of the system. The ILS uses a combination of radio signals and high intensity lighting to guide aircraft. AAI has indicated the private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) that the signals might be getting blocked due to the height of the tower cranes at the ongoing construction work in the airport's hospitality district.

An AAI spokesman said that though there is no problem with ILS, the calibration of the system required the position of the cranes to be changed.

"AAI wanted the cranes to be lowered for another flight check, and DIAL and the construction agencies are fully cooperating with this request," said a DIAL spokesman. "It is reiterated that all construction in the hospitality district has the requisite clearances from the AAI," he said.