BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) is all set to have an automated system for its air traffic control (ATC) services. As a part of the enhancement, a radar system will be installed at BPIA’s ATC centre. The technology will be integrated with the air traffic management (ATM) system at Kolkata.
The new facility would enable air traffic controllers to get a 360-degree view of the operational area (both the city and air side).
Airport Authority of India (AAI), as part of its efforts to upgrade ATM in the country, had launched the process of implementing a critical safety apparatus that uses global positioning system (GPS) technology. The system will provide enhanced accuracy for aerial surveillance as well as extend AAI’s airspace monitoring capabilities.
“This is a state-of-the-art technology which is essential before we start the scheduled international operations,” said BPIA Director Sharad Kumar.
Though BPIA was granted international status in October 2013, regular flights to international destinations are yet to start from here. Among the international operators which had approached the BPIA to operate through Bhubaneswar, Fly Dubai has announced its schedule for Odisha so far.
All the modalities, including the services to be provided by BPIA to the fliers, have been discussed with the operator. “We are waiting for the Civil Aviation Ministry’s nod to start the services,” added Kumar. Besides, four new flights from Bhubaneswar to Chennai and Bangalore are likely to commence soon. The details about those flights will be declared in the winter schedule of BPIA in August. Five operators - Go Air, Spicejet, Air Costa, ABC Airways and Air-Asia India - have shown interest to fly on these routes.
With more flights operating from the city in the domestic circuit, air fares may reduce. At present only two airlines - Indigo and Air India - operate 11 and four flights respectively from here.
On the commercial front, shops and passenger amenities including outlets of Khadi and Gram Udyog, State-run dairy - OMFED, a medical centre of Apollo Hospitals and SBI ATM kiosk are set to come up at the airport.