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Flights diverted as RVR measuring equipment fails at Amritsar airport

The RVR equipment at the airport is maintained by the Indian Meteorological Department, which has sent its officials to Amritsar to repair it, the sources said.

A file image of the international airport in Amritsar. (Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Multiple flights have been diverted from the Amritsar airport in Punjab during the last two days as runway visual range (RVR) equipment, which allows pilots to land flights amid dense fog, has stopped functioning, aviation industry sources said on Thursday.

The RVR equipment at the airport is maintained by the Indian Meteorological Department, which has sent its officials to Amritsar to repair it, the sources said.

The readings taken from RVR equipment allows an airport to use instrument landing system (ILS), which allows a flight to land when visibility is as less as 50 meters.

Multiple flights — domestic and international — have been diverted from the Amritsar airport as the RVR equipment, and ILS system consequently, has not been functioning for the last two days, the sources said.

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The RVR equipment is likely to be repaired by Friday, they added.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI said on Twitter on Thursday, “Due to un-serviceability of Runway Visual Range (RVR) at Amritsar Airport, many flights could not be accommodated.”

“We are continuously working towards the rectification of technical issues involved and ensuring the best services in future. Inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.”

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In Punjab, Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla said flights have not been able to land or take off at the Shri Guru Ramdas International Airport for the past 24 hours.

When contacted, airport Director V K Seth confirmed that flight operations remained suspended.

He said some instruments were non-functional in the ILS. Due to non-functional CAT I, CAT 2 and CAT 3 systems, it becomes almost impossible to keep the airport operational, Seth added.

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However, he said the CAT 1 system has become operational Thursday evening allowing domestic flights to land.

But the international flight operation cannot be resumed until the CAT 2 and CAT 3 become operational, he added.

Seth said the airport will be fully operational on Friday.

First published on: 16-12-2021 at 22:29 IST
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