Brace for flight cancellations at Chandigarh airport this winter too
Work on installation of advanced instrument landing system has been delayed againUpdated: Oct 18, 2020, 23:18 IST
Brace for cancellation of flights this winter too, as work on installation of CAT-3 instrument landing system (ILS) at Chandigarh International Airport has been delayed again.
For the past few years, flights operating from the airport remain grounded from mid-December to mid-January due to foggy weather.
At present, the airport has CAT-2 ILS, which enables pilots to conduct an instrument approach if they are unable to establish visual contact with the runway. It permits landing even when the visibility is down to 350 metres . The advanced CAT-3 ILS, however, works at even as low as 50-metre visibility.
Even as in March this year, the Punjab and Haryana high court directed the chief of defence staff, department of civil aviation, department of military affairs, ministry of defence, Airports Authority of India and other stakeholders to examine and decide on installation of the advanced ILS, nothing has moved forward.
The stakeholders have now stated that they are facing “technical issues” in the installation of CAT-3 ILS.
Sanjeev Vashisht, member of Chandigarh International Airport Advisory Committee, said: “There are issues in the installation of CAT-3 ILS as the airforce has to first remove some obstructions. In the present situation, they cannot be removed. But CAT-2 ILS is operational at the airport.”
In April last year, round-the-clock operations began at the airport, allowing landing of wide-bodied aircraft, including Boeing 787-800 (Dreamliner) and Airbus 330, but even after 18 months, no big aircraft is in the pipeline.
The same month, after various stakeholders approved the installation of CAT-3 ILS, the board of directors, Airport Authority of India, had approved to allot the work to Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division, but the agency failed to get permission from the ministry of defence.