Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal inaugurated a new radar system installed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) at Cochin International Airport on Friday.

The use of the en route radar, set up at a cost of Rs 16 crore, will help air traffic controllers to give direct and shorter routes to aircraft. This in turn will reduce delays in flight landing and takeoff as well as minimise fuel consumption and environmental impact. The system will bring the entire airspace up to 250 nautical miles from Kochi under radar scan.

The Airport Surveillance Radar will also facilitate landing of aircraft at three-minute intervals and the quick release of departures in between. This will save fuel and reduce the carbon footprint. It will also boost traffic growth at Cochin Airport over the next two decades, it is expected.

AAI, which provides air navigation services over the Indian airspace and airports, has made large-scale upgradations to the air navigation system at Cochin Airport.

The Instrument Landing System, which permits aircraft landings in poor visibility of up to 650 metres, is already functional at the airport. Other major enhancements like AIRCON 2100 Air Traffic Control Automation System have also been introduced, which has improved the functioning of air traffic control (ATC) by providing safety features to permit early detection of aircraft conflict by the controller. It will also reduce the need for voice coordination between different ATC centres.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 14, 2013)
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