Air traffic controllers in Mumbai to get special training to enhance passengers’ safety
Besides Mumbai, the system will be introduced at Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata airportsmumbai Updated: Oct 17, 2017 00:04 IST
To enhance passengers’ safety and conveniently deal with the growing air traffic, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) started specialising its Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) in either of their two air spaces from Monday. Earlier a single controller used to handle flights in both the units.
After an order was issued on October 11, AAI implemented the two-stream rating process for the ATCOs. Besides Mumbai, the system will be introduced at Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata airports.
The system aims to focus on a particular type of work rather than working in generic airspace. This according to AAI will enable ATCOs to enhance their job skills. This specialisation is classified into two: terminal and enroute.
The terminal airspace includes flights that take off and land at the airport. Controllers handling this airspace will focus on honing skills pertaining to take off and landing of flights in Mumbai. The other set of controllers will work on the enroute stream of flights in the upper airspace which includes domestic and international air traffic and also flights overflying or crossing India.
“Separation, communication and surveillance required in these two air spaces are different. The work of tower and approach control is fast-paced at airports such as Mumbai. Whereas, in enroute stream, the flights are stable in their path and level. So the skills required in handling such flights are slightly different than those required to in handling takes off and landings,” said an AAI official.
AAI officials said they formed two teams on Monday using 2:1 ratio, in which two employees will handle the enroute stream and one will look after the terminal stream.
A senior AAI official said three institutes in Hyderabad, Gondia and Allahabad will now focus on teaching either of the two airspaces to the new recruits. A few officials also said though the order to have sperate staff for airspaces has been executed, it will take at least a year before the results can be seen.
“Though the teams were segregated on Monday, we will ask the trained controllers to handle both the airspaces for time being. Focus on a specific stream will increase passenger safety,” said RK Saxena, general manager, Air Traffic Control.