VIJAYAWADA: Kurnool airport has received approval for night landing facility and the operations are set to become more cost-effective with the installation of USA’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Advance Air Traffic Advisory System (AATAS). Post-installation, all non-scheduled flights will now be able to operate without AAI’s (Airports Authority of India) approval, thereby saving lakhs of rupees per month.
In a release issued on Saturday, Principal Secretary (Industries, Infrastructure and Investment) Rajat Bhargava said that AATAS, which is fully approved by the USA’s international body FAA, is being used across the world to manage small airports without ATC (Air Traffic Control) for landing of non-scheduled flights throughout the day. In India, AAI approval is must for any airport to allow flight operations and using ATC costs us about Rs 25 lakh per month for a daily shift of 12 hours, while a 24-hour shift costs Rs 50 lakh. However, if we use AATAS, we can avoid AAI ATC during non-watch hours and can save Rs 25 lakh a month.
According to reports, the AATAS can be used by the upcoming Amaravati Aero Sports and Aviation Academy at Kurnool Airport throughout the day. The system would aid aircrafts in landing by providing information such as wind speed, rain probability, cloud base, wind direction, status of runway at airport etc., from a distance of almost 50 km using unmanned radio tower sets.
The government cleared the proposal in the first week of August and the AATAS was installed on Saturday.