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IGI Airport plans hi-tech centre for better services

Airport operator Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd plans an AOCC that would act as a hi-tech nerve centre and help streamline operations at the airport, reports Sidhartha Roy.
Hindustan Times | By Sidhartha Roy, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 07, 2008 03:05 AM IST

Soon passengers at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport should get more accurate and updated information on their flights from the display boards at the terminals. Airport operator Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd is planning an Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC) that would act as a hi-tech nerve centre and help streamline operations at the airport.

The plan is to have the centre at the airport’s old Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, which stands unused at present, by May.

The AOCC will help improve coordination, quicken processing at terminals and facilitate quicker aircraft turn around, which would reduce delays. It would be equipped with state-of-the-art software and get real-time data from the ATC and the airlines, sources at the airport said.

The most visible benefit of this would be on the flight information display system at the terminals. It has been a problem area due to poor coordination. “The pilots communicate with the ATC and we get the information from them, but the system is not automatic at present. That is why display of information takes time to be updated,” the source said.

The control centre shall run round-the-clock and a team of 5-7 officials would man it. It will also be the first line of action during aircraft emergencies, low visibility procedures and weather warnings. It will coordinate with the ATC and ground airside operations for smooth handling of such situations.

The team would monitor and coordinate operations within the terminal, air-side, cargo, the ATC and the airlines and, in case of any problem like non-working machines, X-ray or baggage handling, it would be sorted out from the centre.

The Mumbai Airport already has such a control centre and the new Greenfield airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad too have such state-of-the-art centres. As the Greenfield airports have integrated international and domestic terminals, a control centre is a necessity.

“Inputs are derived from the airlines’ network and the aeronautical fixed telecom network and is interfaced with the flight information display boards to provide updated and accurate information display,” he said. There are plans to interface this system with the ATC in future to obtain this information faster and speed-up the decision-making process.

DIAL confirmed that work has begun to transform the desolate ATC tower, next to the domestic arrival terminal, into the AOCC. “We are planning to make the centre operational by May,” a senior DIAL official said.

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