Mobile ATC towers to manage flight operations in remote airports to provide low-cost service | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Mobile ATC towers to manage flight operations in remote airports to provide low-cost service

The Airports Authority of India has invited tender for 10 mobile towers to be used in the airports which will have flight operations for limited hours.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2017 10:36 IST
Faizan Haidar
The landing and take-off of the plane will be handled through mobile Air Traffic Controller  in 31 remote airports in the country.
The landing and take-off of the plane will be handled through mobile Air Traffic Controller in 31 remote airports in the country. (HT Photo )

For the first time in the country, the landing and take-off of the plane will be handled through mobile Air Traffic Controller (ATC) in 31 remote airports to cut operational cost.

These airports will become operational under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS).

The biggest challenge for Airports Authority of India (AAI) is to provide infrastructure there.

Deployment of staff for 24 hours and construction of new infrastructure would have led to increase in cost, defeating the purpose of RCS, which aims to provide flight service at low price.

To manage this, the AAI, instead of constructing new ATC tower at every airport, will purchase mobile ATC towers to manage flight operations at different airports.

“We have invited tender for 10 mobile towers,” said AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra.

“Under the RCS scheme, we will have flight operations for limited hours so there is no requirement for permanent structure,” he said, adding, “The ATC staff along with the tower can travel to these remote airports and come back after completing the flight operations. The staff will also be deployed from nearby operational airport.”

The tower will be placed on a vehicle and will have one to four controller positions apart from communication and control systems, required for the movement of plane. It will also have radar and voice recorder and meteorological system.

“We have also prepared a deployment plan for staff. The staff of nearby functional airport will be used to serve at remote airports. No staff will be positioned at remote airports,” he added.

After the first round of bidding, government is expecting 27 served airports, 12 underserved airports and 31 unserved airports to be connected through 27 routes.

Three routes are already functional and more flights will be launched in coming days.

After the second round, government is expecting 13 lakh seats to be available under the RCS scheme.

More cities will be connected through air routes as the civil aviation ministry will open more routes by August after it complete the bidding process for the second round of scheme.

The operators awarded the bid in the first round, will have to start the operations by September.