Tribune News Service
Mohali, November 16
With installation of advanced equipment, including runway visual range (RVR) system, the chances of cancellation of flights during foggy days have become almost nil at the Chandigarh international airport here.
Giving information, Suneel Dutt, CEO, Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL), said the Indian Air Force had upgraded the facilities at the airport to CAT-II on one side of the runway due to which it was now possible to operate flights in when visibility was up to 800 metres. “Earlier, it was possible to operate flights in 1,200 metre visibility only during foggy days. Now, we have CAT-II facilities under which a number of advanced equipment and lights have been installed. As a result, now flights could land in up to 800-metre visibility. Now, the chances of cancellation of flights due to fog during winters are almost nil. Flights could be delayed but will not be cancelled,” said Suneel Dutt, adding that last year, four flights were cancelled owing to dense fog.
For CAT-I ILS operations, one RVR instrument is installed to ascertain the visibility on the runway. For CAT-II operations, two RVR instruments are installed — one at the middle of the runway and the other at the end of the tarmac. “Our airport is equipped with three RVRs, which enhance the accuracy of the CAT-II ILS system, making the airport safer than the other CAT-II compliant airports in India,” said Dutt.
The CEO added that the airport has also got ‘follow me’ service jeep, which would guide the aircraft from the runway to the bay and vice versa to avoid any inconvenience or halt of operations during foggy days.
“The airport is now operational 24x7. Moreover, the length of the runway is increased to 10,400 metres as well its resurfacing has enhanced the performance of flight operations,” said Dutt.
“Most airlines had changed their operation timings during the last season to avoid dense fog conditions. The upgraded ILS system has made us as well as airlines more confident to operate their flights as per their planning and at any time of the day or night,” said Dutt, adding that instead of reduction in the number of flights during winter, the count had been increased this season.
‘Low-visibility take off soon’
Suneel Dutt, CEO, CHIAL, said the airport would soon witness low-visibility take off (LVTO) operations under which the departure of flights from the Chandigarh airport would soon be executed in the runway visibility range as low as up to 125 metres. “Another proposal to install approach lights along with other required equipment to make the flights land here in visibility up to 550 metre has also been made. The work once started will take around seven-eight months to complete,” said Dutt.
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