Low visibility and old landing system haunt BIA

BANGALORE: Though the Bangalore International Airport is operational for over four years, it is yet to acquire an advanced landing system for aircraft, lack of which, is causing loss for the a

Published: 22nd February 2012 02:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:00 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: Though the Bangalore International Airport is operational for over four years, it is yet to acquire an advanced landing system for aircraft, lack of which, is causing loss for the airlines. Low visibility is when one cannot see more than 400 metres distance during take off but the same varies for landing. When the runway visibility range (RVR) drops, BIA’s CAT-I ILS is non-efficient, experts opine.

“With installing the upgraded CAT-II, there  would be lights on the centre of the runway as well. This allows in landing and take offs even during low visibility,” said a pilot. He however opined that not all pilots are certified to carry out low visibility take-offs (LVTOs). “Pilots need to be certified and only a particular type of aircraft are required for landing and take-offs during low visibility,” he said.

In Bangalore, when the weather is bad, there is no way to determine accurate RVRs, apart from the transmissometer instrument installed by the Meteorological Department.

“Currently we have two transmissometers that automatically generate data from both ends of the runway. After upgrading to CAT-II, there will be a mid-runway transmissometer, that would provide accurate data. The instrument costs Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 3 crore,” said Ramesh Babu, MET Chief, BIAL.

BIAL MET Department Shortstaffed

Although there are two transmissometers installed at the BIA, the MET department depends on generating ‘manual weather reports.’ When questioned, MET department officials retorted, “It is possible to get weather reports through opaque eyes. Our officials have to physically go to the runway to gauge the weather daily.” On probing, they revealed that the department was understaffed.

“The department functions with 15 members right now. There is an need for 6 staff members. We have been requesting for quick recruitment,” said the BIAL  MET chief.

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