This enables flight operations in poor visibility
GN Bureau | January 8, 2018
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata has started the implementation of CAT III-B Instrument Landing System, which will allow flights to operate till the visibility drops below 50 meters.
With introduction of this facility at Runway 01R, both sides of the Runway 19L/01R are now equipped to low visibility operations as Runway 19L is already having CAT-II facility, said a press release.
Now, irrespective of wind direction, low visibility operations can be handled at Kolkata airport.
Every year during December and January, due to fog, flights operating to and from northern part of India are disrupted. It has been observed that in spite of best efforts from all the stakeholders namely, Airports Authority of India, Airlines and MET Department, flights are delayed as a result of unpredictable weather.
As part of continuing efforts to improve the air navigation facilities for the aircraft and passengers at airports worst affected by fog, Airports Authority of India has already commissioned CAT III-B ILS at IGI Airport (Runways 28, 29 and 11), Amritsar (Runway 34), Lucknow (Runway 27) and at Jaipur (Runway 27) which is operational. It facilitates aircraft to land with Runway Visual Range (RVR) of 50 meters with decision height of 15 meters.
Runway Visual Range is the visibility for a particular runway in a particular direction which is provided through an instrument by Indian Meteorological Department. It means aircraft can land when runway could be seen from a distance of 50 meters and aircraft can come down up to a height of 15 meters above the ground before sighting the runway for landing.
NSCBI Airport, Kolkata has become the fifth airport after Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow and Amritsar to be equipped with CAT III-B ILS. The implementation of ILS CAT III-B will be a big boon for the airports worst affected by fog during winter when the visibility goes as low as 50 metres.
This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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