Sunday, November 25, 2012

New equipment to improve coordination between Juhu airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

The air traffic control tower at the Juhu airport will get new equipment next year, which will help in improving coordination between the aerodrome and the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) and enhance the safety in operations at both airports. The equipment — situation data display — will make available flight movements, flight plans and details about air traffic such as location of an aircraft, altitude and air speed, at the Juhu airport to the CSIA and vice versa.

“It will ensure that these details are digitally available and reduce manual coordination. The equipment will make the current system more perfect,” said M Yadagiri, director at the Juhu airport. The equipment, being procured by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), is expected to be commissioned in the next six months. The Juhu airport caters to roughly 100 movements per day, the details of which are not readily available at the Air Traffic Control (ATC) of CSIA.

An official at Juhu airport said at present, if the ATC at CSIA wants to know more about a particular situation, officials have to call the ATC authorities at Juhu airport.

“It is time consuming and leads to confusion. Sometimes, paths intersect depending on the runway being used and flight plans. By improving coordination, the equipment will make operations safer at both the airports,” the official said.

The distance between CSIA and Juhu airport is barely two kilometres. The layout of runways at both airports is also identical.

Hence, the operations at the two airports are not independent of each other and coordination between the ATC at the aerodrome and CSIA becomes inevitable.

“Mumbai airport already has situation data display, but as a new tower for air traffic monitoring is being built, authorities will have to purchase this equipment. They have decided to purchase the equipment and fit it at the Juhu airport as well,” the official said.

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