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'CNS infrastructure at airports neglected'

Officers of the Airports Authority of India have accused the management of neglecting issues relating to Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) infrastructure for a long time at airports across the country.

mumbai Updated: May 30, 2010 11:17 IST
PTI

Officers of the Airports Authority of India have accused the management of neglecting issues relating to Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) infrastructure for a long time at airports across the country.

Airports Authority of India Officers' Association (AAIOA) in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, has said that despite several new airports coming up and additional CNS facilities being added, manpower has not been augmented by the management for a "long time".

CNS personnel look after the sensitive radar, communication and other navigational systems of the Air Traffic Services and provide navigation services over the Indian airspace.

"While new equipment were being added and airports with new CNS facilities are coming up on a regular basis, the requisite augmentation of the CNS deployment is severely lacking.

"The already retarded induction process for the existing vacancies is quoted by the authorities as reason for not sanctioning additional deployment of the new CNS system," the Association said.

Besides, issues like induction of personnel and their training, non-calibration of navigational aids due to shortage of flight inspectors at various flight inspection units were also being "ignored by the management".

They also accused the management of not making any effort to meet the Civil Aviation Requirements (rules) of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and other regulatory procedures for maintenance and operations of CNS and Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.

"No effort has been made even to know the compliance status issued on the subject by DGCA, which puts a question mark on the safety of air navigation services in the country," the letter said.

The morale of the average CNS executives was "quite low because of the intransigent attitude of the AAI management towards the CNS infrastructure", it said.

Earlier, CNS Officers Guild (CNSOG) had also written to AAI Chairman V P Agarwal charging that acute shortage of CNS manpower was adversely affecting day-to-day operations and maintenance of facilities.

Though, after two years of recruitment process, some appointments were made but only half of the posts advertised were filled up, it claimed.

"The state-of-affairs could be judged by the fact that an advertisement for recruitment of CNS executives, Manager (Electronics), was published in October 2007 and written test conducted after a year in November 2008," it said.

The results were declared in June 2009 and interviews held in August. The final result was declared in February this year but only 87 candidates were shortlisted against the 171 posts as advertised, the CNSOG said.

But, AAI sources maintained that the remaining posts could not be filled up due to "lack of availability of the right kind of people".

First Published: May 30, 2010 11:15 IST