Wrong time for landing system upgrade diverts flights at Indore airport

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Jul 19, 2016 20:01 IST
Mumbai, India - 23 June 2015 : Domestic and International flights lined up for take off at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. As heavy rains affected flight operations by up to 30 minutes at the city airport. (Photo by Pramod Thakur/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

Upgrading of instrumental landing system (ILS) at Indore airport at the wrong time of the year is leading to diversion of flights during bad weather. Last week, five flights were diverted due to heavy rains and thunderstorms.

ILS is an important instrument that helps aircrafts during landing. Its key features tell whether the aircraft is aligned and maintaining a proper slope, said an official. ILS and glide path help reduce chance of errors, mostly when visibility is low.

The Indore airport will replace the old system, installed in 1994, with an advanced one for safe and secure landing of flights. The AAI started the tendering process in July last year, and initial projection was to replace the system by January 2016. However, the process was delayed due to tendering process and the implementation started in June.

Airport director Manoj Chansoria said the ILS upgrade work was almost over, and the new system will become operational once the testing was over.

“The new system cannot become operational until its accuracy testing is conducted by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The airport management had requested the AAI not to switch off the old system in June during the onset of monsoon but it did not agree,” an airport official said requesting anonymity.

With the help of ILS, pilots can land even if the clouds are present at the height of 2,360 feet, and without the system, pilots have to use VOR (VHF omnidirectional range) that can help in landing from a height of 2060 feet.

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