Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S. Puri inaugurates AAI's C-ATFM centre

ANI | Updated: Jun 22, 2019 16:33 IST

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri inaugurated the state-of-the-art Central Air Traffic Flow Management system (C-ATFM) in New Delhi on Saturday.
In India, C-ATFM system came with an estimated cost of Rs. 107 Crore and has been already been implemented at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata airports.
With the growing air traffic flow in India, which is likely to expand in the near future, the requirement of ATFM or Air Traffic Flow Management has become the need of the hour.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Civil Aviation Minister said, "I am glad that this state-of-the-art technology/ facility is now operational and I think it will serve the needs of India's civil aviation, but more than that it will also help to ensure highest standards of safety, that is most crucial".
Helping to deliver optimum air traffic to airports with least average delay, this planning tool enables improved management of demand and capacity.
In 2017, India became the seventh country in the world after USA, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Japan to implement an advanced state-of-the-art Central ATFM system.
Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India in his address said, "We have also visited CATFM facility in Washington. It will be very proud for us to say that we have reached to a stage and we have made a humble beginning which assures that in next five years time this CATFM centre will reach compatible heights with what the best of the world has to offer".
Established to dynamically assess the airspace situation and capacity optimization, the system takes into consideration various constraints like airspace, weather conditions, traffic congestion that affect the smooth flow of traffic throughout the Indian Flight Information Regions.
With the introduction of this system in India, it has led to enhanced safety and annual fuel savings of thousands of crore rupees by reducing fuel burn along with minimizing flight delays caused due to air traffic congestion.
Vineeta Upadhyay, Joint GM (ATM-ATFM) at Airports Authority of India said, "We regulate the traffic for Delhi, Mumbai and other airports which require our services by giving them a calculate take-off time which is a ground delay programme, but in cases on exigencies and contingencies when the airport has a total gridlock because of weather or maybe a planned closer also then what we do is, we put a ground stop programme that no aircraft is cleared for a constraint airport till we give them a go ahead that they can take off".
Ankur Srivastava, Assistant Manager (ATC) at Airports Authority of India added, "If we have lot of holdings at any particular airport it creates a lot of pressure on the controllers also. In that case there is a chance of mishap also. So, to try to avoid that we want a steady flow of air traffic at any particular airport so that the safety is not compromised".
Sophisticated 'Sky Flow' system has been brought to use to calculate exactly where an aircraft will be at any given moment and to predict when the demand of the airspace or airport is exceeding the declared capacity, further helping ATFM managers to apply necessary regulations such as Ground delay.
Moreover, it also provides them with decision making tools for collaborative decision making, in consultation with airlines, Military and Airports Operators to facilitate the regulated flow of traffic in each airport in India.
In the history of Indian Aviation, the introduction of C-ATFM has been a great accomplishment, not just to decongest air traffic but also to promote the concept of Green environment. (ANI)