By next year, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport will have one of the world’s tallest Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers.
Air traffic controllers, however, are complaining that the 100 metre high, state-of-the-art complex would not have enough space for their needs.
“The upcoming tower is nearly double the size of the existing ATC tower, which is now bursting at the seams. However, there are no plans to provide us with enough space for requirements, such as a training centre, recreation facilities, rest areas and offices,” said a senior ATC official, who did not wish to be identified.
Sources said that the Air Traffic Controller’s Guild had met senior officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages civil air movement in the country, to express their concerns regarding the new ATC complex, which is being constructed by the private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL).
“The upcoming complex would not have sufficient space even for the existing manpower at Delhi ATC and in the next five years, the number is going to see a huge increase. DIAL has not taken into consideration the future needs at the complex,” the official said.
“Apart from lack of enough space inside, the proposed car parking for ATCOs is also located at a distance from the complex. We work in shifts at odd hours and would be expected to walk to our office at such time in all kinds of weather conditions,” he said.
“DIAL is executing this work for AAI and the entire planning of facilities, number of controller positions, work stations, support facilities, rest and recreation facilities and parking spaces was carried out as per AAI requirements and has been approved by AAI,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
“This facility planning compares very favourably with the best ATC Towers in the World,” he added.
The AAI spokesperson could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts