Friday, June 14, 2013

Chennai, India: Director General of Civil Aviation wants new study on airport runway safety

Arun Janardhanan, TNN | Jun 15, 2013, 02.44 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to appoint an independent agency to evaluate the structural safety of the new secondary runway bridge built across Adyar river.

DGCA director Arun Mishra said the decision was taken following media reports and complaints on the structural safety of the bridge. On April 23, TOI reported about some cracks and water seepage on some pillars of the bridge. "We have asked AAI to go for an independent study on the structural safety. Following media reports, we sought the AAI's explanation. They have explained the reasons for the water seepage and cracks, but we have suggested an independent study by a team comprising experts from IITs," Mishra said, assuring that the study will be transparent and will not be influenced by AAI or the private consortium that built the bridge.

Mishra said a detailed proposal for the clearance of the secondary runway was submitted by AAI only four months ago. AAI has long been claiming that the clearance of the runway and the bridge had been pending before DGCA for more than a year.

Mishra said some concerns on the runway end safety area of the secondary runway will also be addressed. Stating that he has received complaints on secondary runway from the civil aviation safety advisory council, he said it is obvious that AAI has to furnish more details regarding the runway. "We have written to AAI seeking clarification on project details," he said.

When contacted, AAI chairman V P Agrawal said independent agencies including IIT-Madras have already given approval for the bridge.

Mohan Ranganathan, a senior member of the Civil Aviation Security Council Captain Mohan Ranganathan said the whole runway project had many flaws. "The structural safety of the runway bridge is yet to be studied. On the operation side, runway will not have modern navigational equipment. AAI has long been claiming that the secondary runway will be provided with an instrument landing system (ILS). But at the end of the runway, there is no space for ILS as it needs at least 300metres without any obstruction. "Moreover, the high voltage cable on the roof of metro rail passing right under the end of the runway may interfere with the ILS signals," said Ranganathan. 


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