In an attempt to avoid the cancellation and delay of flights due to dense fog, the Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) upgraded the facilities of the airport runway to CAT-II ILS (Instrument Landing System), which will enable operation of flights in the visibility up to 800 meters.
Meanwhile, Low Visibility Take Off operations (LVTOs) departure of flights from Chandigarh Airport can now be executed in the Runway Visibility Range as low as up to 125 meters, the CHIAL authorities said.
Speaking on the matter, Suneel Dutt, CHIAL CEO, said that earlier as per the CAT-I ILS category which was available in the last winter season it was possible to operate flights upto the visibility of 1200 meters which is the Runway Visibility Range (RVR) which is basically the visibility on the Runway itself. However, we have upgraded the facilities of the Airport to CAT-II, due to which it is now possible to operate flights in the visibility up to 800 meters, and a written notification has already been issued to the pilots.
“The Airports Authority of India have also been intimated that after upgradation to CAT-II ILS, operations can be used an alternate aerodrome/airport to handle any diverted flights from the nearby airports, during the dense fog season and for it the number of bays at Chandigarh Airport are also being increased which will help to park about 15 aircraft at the Apron and if needed more number of flights can be parked at our taxiways,” said Dutt.
The official said that while for CAT-II operations, two RVR instruments are installed at the middle of the runway and at the end of the runway, in Chandigarh, three RVRs are installed which enhances the accuracy of the CAT-II ILS system and make the Chandigarh Airport safer than the other CAT-II compliant airports in India.
According to a data briefed of visibility conditions from 2013- 2017, the maximum visibility problem have been in 2014 in December and January, when in December the visibility was between 200 meters to 400 meters for 11 days or 40 hours and 30 minutes in December, whereas in January it was for 14 days and 31 minutes.
“There can be nominal delays during the arrival or departures of the flights which totally depend upon the weather conditions at origin or destination stations, or the weather conditions at Chandigarh. After the installation of CAT-II ILS system, these delays will further be minimised,” the CEO said adding that after setting up of CAT-II ILS system, there is no change in the schedule of the flights this year as compared to the last season.
“In the last winter season there was no flight operations before 10 am. But after the upgradation, we will now be operating flights right from 6 am. We are in regular contact with all the airlines, as more number of flights can be added during the night hours in this winter season itself,” added Dutt.