The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) is going to acquire disabled aircraft recovery equipment to enhance operational capabilities and reduce downtime during runway emergencies.
The BIAL signed an agreement with German company KUNZ GmbH to manufacture, supply, commission and maintain the specialised equipment for the Banglore Airport (BLR), which is officially known as Kempegowda International Airport. According to the airport officials, the implementation of this equipment will make BLR the first airport in the country with the capability effect recovery of disabled aircraft up to Code F category, enabling faster resumption of operations during aircraft incidents on the runways.
“As part of this agreement, KUNZ GmbH agreed to jointly establish a centre for disabled aircraft recovery training with BIAL, making BLR Airport the first in the region to have such a facility. This facility will develop and expand the skill set in India,” a press release issued by BIAL said.
“The acquisition of this equipment boosts BLR Airport’s operational capability during runway emergencies. At a time when the aviation industry in India is growing at an unprecedented rate, this Disabled Aircraft Recovery Equipment will ensure that the impact to operations is minimal, if there is an incident on the runway,” said Thomas Hoff Andersson, Chief Operating Officer, BIAL.
According to BIAL, disabled aircrafts on the runway have the potential to cripple airport operations, resulting in flight delays, diversions, and loss of revenue for both airlines as well as airport operators. The effective recovery of all types of disabled aircraft in the movement area will ensure that operations, business continuity and organisational resilience remain unaffected.
Under the scope of this agreement, BIAL has constituted a team of Recovery Managers who will undergo extensive hands-on training at KUNZ GmbH’s state-of-the-art recovery training facility in Germany. Additionally, a Quick Response Recovery Team (QRRT) will be formed and imparted with technical knowledge to respond to critical situations.
The kit, with multiple components and customised according to the BLR Airport’s requirement, will include ground preparation tools, aircraft lifting, de-bogging, tethering, towing, and all other associated aspects of both narrow- and wide-body aircraft.
In July last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had directed six major airports of the country to procure and deploy the “disabled aircraft recovery kit” by March this year. The recovery kit is deployed to extract and remove any aircraft that is unable to move using its own power or through a tow tractor.
“It is hereby directed to procure the disabled aircraft recovery kit and position it at Kolkata, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru airports by the airport operators concerned by March 31, 2020,” the DGCA noted in an order addressed to the CEOs of Mumbai airport, Delhi airport and Bengaluru airport, and Chairman of Airports Authority of India.
On July 9, 2019, the DGCA held a meeting where it was “decided and agreed upon that major airports in India should have disabled aircraft recovery kit to meet the exigencies at airports”.
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