Srinagar airport to get advanced system to operate flights at lower visibility

Srinagar: To overcome the problem of frequent cancellation of flights due to low visibility at the Srinagar airport here, authorities on Friday said the process to install Category II instrument landing system (ILS) will commence next month.

The system will bring the visibility threshold down to 500 metres from the current 1,000 metres and it will be ready for commissioning in October, they said.

“The instrument landing system at our airport is currently designed to function at the visibility of more than 1,000 metres. We never operate a flight if the visibility is less than this threshold…,” an official at the Srinagar airport said.

“The installation (of the new system) will commence in April and it will be ready for commissioning in October. The visibility threshold with the new system will come down to 500 metres… We have state-of-the-art landing and navigation facilities and we continuously strive for their improvement in line with the increase in traffic,” the official said.

To enhance the safety of passengers, aircraft and employees, a range of modern equipment have been installed, he said.

“We recognize that a piece of equipment is as good as the person operating or using it. Therefore, we ensure world class training for our staff…,” he said.

Flights are cancelled, sometimes for days together, due to low visibility in the wake of bad weather, especially when it snows in Kashmir.

The officials said latest machinery is being used for snow removal and clearing of ice from the airfield and the objective is always to ensure minimum disruption to flight operations during inclement weather.

“We are sensitive to the adverse effect of the snow accumulation on the aircraft wings. Thus, we deploy water spray for de-icing so that there are no unnecessary delays in flight operations,” the official said.

About Rs 1,500 crore will be invested in constructing a new terminal building and six more aircraft parking stands at the airport, he mentioned.–(PTI)

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