The civil aviation ministry has begun digging into the reasons behind the delay in installing the surface movement radar (SMR) at the Mumbai airport on Monday.
“We are looking in the delay aspect,” said Alok Sinha, joint secretary, civil aviation ministry.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) missed the December 31 deadline, its third deadline in a year, to set up the radar, which is critical to smoothen ground traffic management on the airfield.
AAI had missed deadlines in February and October last year.
AAI officials said they were unable to start the radar because the aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), had not cleared the project.
“The SMR would be available for use as soon as we get the DGCA clearance,” said PK Nagpal, regional executive, AAI.
However, no timeline has been set for when the radar would become functional.
The SMR will provide digital images of moving objects on the airfield on the workstations of air traffic controllers. Presently, they depend on eye view of the airfield from the control tower to manage traffic on the ground.
It is used by air traffic controllers (ATC). It helps the ATC track vehicular positions at night and in low visibility conditions.
Mumbai airport, the country’s second busiest airport, handles 500 airfield vehicles such as catering vans, airlines coaches and oil tankers in addition to more than 600 take-offs and landings daily.