AAI commits more airports for CAT III ILS compliance

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb.4 (ANI): Cancellation and delay of flights due to low visibility during winters can be a nightmare for passengers travelling by air the world over. In India, which is predicted to be the world's third-biggest air travel market by 2035, the Airports Authority of India is committed to ensure the safe operation of aircrafts during periods of low visibility or low cloud base. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is the first airport in the country to offer Low Visibility Procedure (LVP) operations supporting up to CAT III B capability. Recently, Lucknow and Jaipur airport has been upgraded to support CAT IIIB operations. The Airports Authority of India, which manages 125 airports in the country, is now planning more airfields to be CAT III compliant. It will help maintain smooth operation of aircrafts during the foggy season. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India, said, "There is something called CAT III Instrument Landing System, where airlines are able to operate in extremely low visibility conditions. North India, particularly, and parts of Northeastern India are very vulnerable to low visibility conditions during the foggy months. So far, Delhi was the only CAT III ILS compliant airport. I am very happy to share with you that today both Lucknow and Jaipur are CAT III compliant airports, which means planes can operate in very, very low visibility conditions. Now, we are targeting to make Amritsar and Kolkata CAT III ILS compliant by September 2017 so that four major airports along with Delhi - in total 5 - in North and eastern India will be CAT III ILS compliant." Visibility is a significant parameter for aircraft operation. It becomes significantly important, particularly when the aircraft is approaching the airport for landing or preparing to depart from the airport. Visual reference to airport markings and visual hazards identification is required to operate the flight. As visibility deteriorates the potential for inadvertent entry on an operational runway by an aircraft, vehicle or personnel increases. However, advancement in technology has made it possible to improve the system and enable aircrafts to operate in reduced visibility condition. Instrument Landing System installed at modern airports can help flights land safely under poor visibility conditions. In December and January, dense fog causes a serious decline in both general visibility and runway visual range visibility, while closure of air traffic occurs if the RVR falls below 50 metres. To cope with flight disruptions caused by fog, a number of facilities have been provided at the airport. When visibility falls below 1,200 metres, safeguarding procedures are implemented while low visibility procedures are implemented if the RVR on a runway falls to less than 800 metres. The airport met office also operates a real-time round-the-clock fog monitoring, forecasting and dissemination system. (ANI)