CHENNAI: To enhance safety and operational efficiency of aircraft operations, the Airports Authority of India has launched a project of sectorising airspace in Chennai on a trial basis.
Under the project, the airspace, which spans an area of four lakh square nautical miles, would be split into two sectors after assessing the workload of the controllers, traffic density in each sector, number of traffic conflict points requiring controllers intervention and communication or surveillance facilities available in each sector.
The project, which was inaugurated by A K Dutta, board member of Airports Authority of India for Air Navigation Services and Operations, would be executed in three phases. The three phases would happen after the regulatory safety assessments. This would alleviate the workload of air traffic controllers and also improve operational efficiency of air navigation service.
This would enable 400 international overflying aircraft transit daily using the 14 international routes to obtain their optimum flight profile with enhanced safety. Also, AAI is doing away with the discrete codes to identify aircraft. Conventionally, aircraft with Mode A Transponders were identified by the controllers on radar after being observed with the discrete code selected by the crew on the transponder. In view of limitations in the number of discrete codes during peak traffic periods, there has been delay in identification of aircraft by ATC and provision of service.
Now, it would be the aircraft which would use the Mode S transponder to set the aircraft identification, commonly referred as flight ID. This would be downlinked and a code be assigned to the aircraft. The new system permits direct radar identification by a controller and can relieve the shortage of Mode A codes.