City airport steps up safety drive | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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City airport steps up safety drive

Pilots have listed spots at Mumbai airport where there is a risk of collision between planes or with other vehicles. This exercise has helped improve safety standards, said the airport operator on Friday.

mumbai Updated: Aug 21, 2010 01:57 IST
HT Correspondent

Pilots have listed spots at Mumbai airport where there is a risk of collision between planes or with other vehicles. This exercise has helped improve safety standards, said the airport operator on Friday.

Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) formed a runway safety team comprising ground staff and pilots to identify these spots following a series worrying incidents earlier this year.

"The idea is to create awareness about runway incursions,” said Bryan Thompson, director (operations), MIAL. The sites where the runways intersect each other and the area connecting the taxiway to the main runway are among the spots listed.

The exercise is crucial because at any given time at least 2,700 labourers work on the airfield. On the occasion of Airport Safety Week, which began on Monday, MIAL officials detailed safety-enhancement initiatives they had undertaken.

Inadequate signage, excess ground traffic and communication gaps between Air Traffic Control and pilots are some of the reasons that lead to runway incursions.

The airport has also increased the number of runway inspections to ensure that no foreign objects such as baggage tags, suitcase wheels and tools are lying on the runway. There is a strong possibility of such objects entering the aircraft engine and causing a mishap.

The airport is also using a new state-of-the-art vehicle to test friction on the runway. During the monsoon, a vehicle is used to remove rubber deposits from the runway every two weeks.