Trial run of nation’s tallest ATC tower begins at Delhi airport
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has started trial run of the country’s tallest Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower at the Delhi airport. The authority is hopeful of shifting operations entirely to it by October 2018.
The trials will continue till April after which the 101.9 metres tall ATC tower will be operated parallelly for around six months. The operations will be shifted completely to the new tower in October. “From April, we will start simultaneous operations and full operation will commence from October,” said Guruprasad Mohapatra, AAI chairman.
The tower, which is among the tallest structure in Delhi, will give a 360-degree view of the airport to the controller and eventually help in on-time performance of the flight.
The present ATC complex and its 60 metres high tower was built in 1999. It is at considerable distance from the third runway constructed in 2008. The new tower, built at a cost of Rs 350 crore, gives controllers a view of all the three runways, aprons and taxiways. With this new tower, operational capacity of the ATC is likely to improve.
The new tower will also help in handling operations at the proposed fourth runway which is expected to be commissioned in 2019. The construction of the runway, which will take the per hour capacity of Delhi airport from 75 flights to 105, is likely to start soon.
“The way the air traffic is growing, we need new technologies and more staff to reduce the waiting time. The infrastructure will help us enhance our capability,” said an ATC officer.
The new tower also has a bigger working space so that a larger number of controllers can operate at the same time. The tower is adjacent to the present ATC tower and once operational, it will be tallest in the country and seventh tallest in the world.
The new ATC tower will have 21 controller positions at the visual control room and 12 ground controller positions at operational level.
A look at Delhi’s tallest: