Post 26/11, hi-tech gadgets to control airport security
The AAI was formed in April 1995 by merging the International Airports Authority of India and the National Airports Authority with a view to accelerating the integrated development, expansion and modernization of the airports in the country. Its chairman and managing director VP Agrawal spoke to Gaurav Choudhury on a range of issues. Excerpts:india Updated: Apr 06, 2009 00:37 IST
How will you manage the growth of AAI after the formation of public private partnership joint ventures for difference airports?
Delhi and Mumbai Airports are being developed through joint venture routes and new Greenfield airports have come up at Bengaluru and Hyderabad under Public-Private-Partnership mode. The AAI has undertaken development and modernization of Kolkata and Chennai Airports along with the development of 35 non-metro airports. The AAI is poised to leap from a Ground-Based Navigation System to a Space-Based Navigation System through the implementation of the GAGAN Project.
What measures are you taking to meet the challenges of growing passenger traffic?
The terminal buildings at many airports are being modernized using steel and glass structures, vertical air-conditioning, aerobridges and modular expandability. The buildings will confirm to international standards with “C” level of service as per International Airport Transport Association [IATA] guidelines and Inter Ministerial Group norms.
What plans do you have to modernize the cargo handling facilities? Are there any plans to create more cargo-hubs other than Nagpur and Chennai?
Integrated cargo terminal has been created at Chennai Airport, having an area of 12,250 meters. This terminal has an annual cargo handling capacity of 72000 metric tonnes and is fully mechanized with an ETV System. Similarly, Kolkata Airport has a modern cargo handling system. Soon, Amritsar will also have a modern cargo terminal with full automation for the purposes of storage, retrieval, customs clearance etc.
What new security measures are taken being taken by AAI after 26/11?
In the wake of 26/11 incident, new security standards developed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation are being implemented. The introduction of a new set of hi-tech equipment for access control to the airport, protection of the airport operational area and screening of passengers and their baggage are being actively considered. Highly sophisticated x-ray explosive detective systems are being installed at some airports. The security personnel are sensitized to effectively use hi-tech electronic gadgets with a passenger-friendly approach. All the surveillance systems installed in India are being networked to provide seamless control and monitoring of air-traffic.
Is there any plan to establish an IT network for smooth and uninterrupted operations across the country?
The information technology division at the AAI is establishing a country-wide intranet and also enhancing IT enabled applications and services across its offices. It is also developing a master data combining data from the ATC and Air Traffic Billing Modules respectively.