After flagging off construction of the new terminal building at Mumbai airport in February,redevelopers of the Mumbai airport are ready to begin work on the new Air Traffic Control Tower (ATC) at the Santacruz airport.
While the exact date is yet to be worked out,a spokesperson from the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) told Newsline,The construction is likely to start in a couple of months. The tower will take two years to be commissioned. This includes construction as well as installation of the equipment.
Specific details on the towers design could not be verified. It will be a steel and glass structure and will have much more floor area than the current tower, said a senior airport official.
Sources said the tower,to be built in a section of the current parking area opposite terminal 1B,would stand well above 230 metre,making it a landmark. The existing tower is 150 metre high.
It was operationalised in 1999 by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at an overall project cost of about Rs 280 crore.
While in terms of operational efficiency and enhancements,there would not be any significant changes with the new ATC tower,but the shifting would coincide with the installation of the surface movement radar (SMR),which gives a clear picture of all moving and stationary objects in the airports operational area. The SMR was much-needed. It would be operational by the time we move into the new tower, said another official.
The overall cost of the project could not be verified but it forms part of phase one of the overall development plan,to be completed by 2012 end,of the Mumbai airport.