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New software to improve ground operations at Mumbai airport in real time

mumbai Updated: Apr 23, 2018 00:01 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,airport,software

Although SAGA was installed last year, it became fully operational in January 2018. (HT File)

After two major incidents resulted in flight disruptions during last monsoon, this year, Mumbai airport is better prepared to tackle similar situations.

The airport is now installed with Surface Awareness Guidance at Airport (SAGA) software, which will monitor real time ground movement and arriving air traffic, thus assisting authorities to tackle an impending emergency. The airport is the only one in the country to use this system.

Although the software was installed last year, it became fully operational in January 2018. SAGA is jointly developed by GVK and Altys Technologies. The software monitors and analyses ground movement of arriving and departing flights. The detailed live traffic analysis helps in eliminating delays related to runway.

The software captures every movement of an aircraft and vehicles on airside of the airport. The system marks departing aircraft in green and the ones arriving in blue. Other vehicles such as follow-me jeeps, wildlife jeep for birds and fire tenders are also tracked by the software.

Although the airport is equipped with Surface Movement Radar (SMR) for visual monitoring of aircraft, the system is only provides surface movement that can only be accessed by the air traffic controllers. The new software helps in asserting position of an aircraft and ensures reduced runway occupancy time by monitoring exit route and speed of the aircraft for Rapid Exit Taxiways (RET).

“SAGA also helps in predicting time when an aircraft touches down and speed at which an aircraft is moving towards the taxiway. This helps us to understand what went wrong in case of any incident. The software saves data for more than a year,” said an MIAL official.

The software also helps in parking stand occupancy details and responding operational vehicle movement to assist aircraft. One of the most important features of the system is that it strengthens safety and efficiency of operations in all weather conditions and peak traffic hours.

“SAGA provides MIAL with detailed insight into operational performance, with a number of advanced statistical reports and alarm features. The application additionally provides an operational alert whenever excessive waiting times are detected on any airport segment, be it the runway, taxiways or apron. It is useful for the Airport Rescue and Fire and Apron Control at times of aircraft emergencies. The software is self-sufficient and collates data through five antennae spread across the airside. Inputs from SAGA are directly used to create reports on various parameters to be used by various departments. Mumbai airport is first and only in the world to be equipped with SAGA,” said an MIAL spokesperson.

The system also helps in identifying and capturing details of aircraft en route Mumbai, during diversion in or out of the city.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 00:01 IST