KOCHI:The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is all set to introduce the second instrument landing system, a first in the state, which will allow the aircraft to take off and touch down on the runway from both directions of the same runway.
It will not only reduce the fuel consumption of aircraft but also avoid major flight delays in monsoon and the winter seasons when visibility is as low as 800 metres.
This assumes greater significance in the wake of a recent emergency landing of Jet Airways aircraft with alarmingly low level of fuel at Thiruvanthapuram international airport after it was diverted from Kochi, where it had tried three failed attempts to land, due to inclement weather coupled with poor visibility.
A C K Nair, airport director, CIAL, told ‘Express’ that the Instrument Landing System (ILS), which facilitates low visibility aircraft operations, will be made operational in five to six months.
The CIAL has begun work on setting up infrastructure facilities required for installing the new equipment, which would be installed by the Airport Authority of India at the westerly approach of its 3400-meter runway once the work on the infrastructure facilities is completed, he said, adding that it would make landing and take-off possible from both sides even when the visibility is very low.
The proposal for installing a CAT-1 (Category 1) type ILS at the 09 end of the runway was a long-pending demand by the various airlines operating to Kochi in order to avoid flight delays in case of a non-operationalisation of the existing ILS at the eastern end (27).
The new system is also expected to reduce the cost of operations of flight services especially from Middle East as the flights from there approach the airport from the South West direction and they have to hover around the airport for an average of 11 minutes and will take an additional distance of about 40 nautical miles before landing, said experts.
With the operationlisation of the second ILS at the 09 end, these aircraft can straightaway land without hovering over the airport for long, they added.
The airport has recorded a total flight movement of 52,793 in the last fiscal.
And over 80 percent of the flight movement is from the Middle East destinations that approach the airport from the South West direction.