MAFI project to take off at Lohegaon airbase in November,says Air Chiefhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/mafi-project-to-take-off-at-lohegaon-airbase-in-november-says-air-chief/

MAFI project to take off at Lohegaon airbase in November,says Air Chief

MAFI project involves upgrade of 26 Air Force bases in the country of which Pune is one. Equipment and infrastructure received under the project is expected to benefit civilian flight operations also

MAFI project involves upgrade of 26 Air Force bases in the country of which Pune is one. Equipment and infrastructure received under the project is expected to benefit civilian flight operations also

The Modernisation of Airfield Infrastructure (MAFI) project will kick start at Lohegaon airbase in November,said Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne,Chief of Air Staff. Brown was talking to reporters after the golden jubilee celebration of Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC).

“The pilot project in Bathinda is over. The one in Pune will start in November. The preparations have started. In fact the building for tetra school,which trains our personnel on MAFI is ready. The work will be carried out during nights and will continue till morning,while the operations continue through the day,” Browne said.

The MAFI project which was bagged by Tatas in April last year involves upgrade of 26 Air Force bases in the country of which Pune is one. The equipment and infrastructure received under the MAFI project is expected to benefit civilian flight operations as well. “The Air Force station will receive instrument landing system (ILS),automated Air Traffic Control (ATC),runway lights besides others,” he said.

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Commenting on the long pending runway extension,the Air Chief said the matter is stuck in legal issues. Commenting on the SRA project which has come up adjacent to the IAF station,Browne said,“The Gazette notification puts restrictions on construction within 30,100 and 900 metres from IAF stations based on the kind of airfield it is.

“There should be no construction within the notified area.

The gazette notification is issued for a specified time period and is to be renewed. Builders are seen to make use of the period between expiry and renewal of the notification.”

Browne who has earlier been the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of Lohegaon- based 2 Wing was on a three day visit to the city. A visit to HAL’s Sukhoi-30 MKI production line at Ozar was also a part of the Air Chief’s itinerary. Commenting on the Su-30 MKI crash which took place at Wadebolhai in December last year,Browne said,“We have identified the problem. It is a design issue and we have taken up the matter with the designing agency. There was a problem in the Fly-by-Wire (FBW) system of the aircraft.”

Commenting on the Naresh Chandra task force on national security which recommended cross integration between the MoD and the Forces along with a permanent chairman,Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) Browne said,“The integration between the forces and the MoD should happen first. When that is complete,we can look at permanent chairman or there will not be that synergy which the government is expecting. The recommendations are good and a positive step,but ‘how to accept it’ is being worked upon.”

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