The Airports Authority of India (AAI) -- saddled with outdated meteorological equipment at airports, particularly Delhi for long -- has decided to take matters into its own hands. In a decision taken recently, the AAI will buy latest meteorological equipment to be installed at airports across the country.
AAI chairman K Ramalingam said the upgrading of the weather related information gathering equipment will be done in consultation with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). "We are preparing a road map with IMD's help," said he.
As per the plan, AAI will buy the equipment while IMD will play the guide. AAI had for long felt the need to have modern equipment that can provide precise weather related information to the pilots and its Air Traffic Control (ATC).
The IMD had been unable to buy the equipment because of bureaucratic restrictions on expenditure. This forced AAI, which last year earned a profit (before tax) of Rs 811.43 crore to chip in.
“The new equipment enhance the efficiency of both the pilots and ATC. We will provide web based meteorological information. The meteorological computers will be interfaced with ATC automation system at Delhi and Mumbai," said Ramalingam.
Just as IMD, the AAI will charge from private companies who access the weather information.
Runway capacity goes up
The AAI by next week will extend simultaneous flight operations at Delhi Airport's cross-runway from the present three hours each during the morning and evening peak hours to five hours.
"We have nearly finished work on the new high speed exit taxi ways at Delhi. Construction of a parallel taxi track will be taken up soon. This would reduce runway occupancy time of an aircraft that has landed," said the AAI chairman.
This will enable upto 60 flights to land or take off per hour from the present 40 odd flights, reducing the waiting time for aircraft.
Apart from this additional parking bays are being constructed. Also, improved ATC procedures are being framed and automation system being upgraded. "A dedicated clearance delivery position has been implemented at Delhi during peak period time," said a senior official.
Apart from installing the Category III B Instrument Landing System, AAI has also put in place an Advanced Surface Guidance and Control System -- which will help aircraft to dock at right bay even in low visibility conditions.
Delhi and Mumbai handle 57 per cent of the passenger traffic.
The AAI is also installing the Automatic Dependence Surveillance System/Controller Pilot Data Link Communication. This system is used for surveillance over oceanic region and inaccessible areas. The system is in place at Kolkata and Chennai. “At Delhi and Mumbai installation have been completed and test operations are in progress," said an official.
Apart from this, a Dedicated Satellite Communication Network will connect 80 airports.
This will replace the ground-based communication and also help in radar networking.
Officials said by next year, operations at IGI will be taken to the next level.