Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Staff crunch at Juhu airport hits operations

The air traffic controllers (ATCOs) working with the Juhu aerodrome — India’s busiest heliport according to the civil aviation ministry — recently wrote to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to complain about a staff crunch of around 50 per cent. The aerodrome, which is located in Vile Parle (east), caters to choppers, and fixed-wing and twin-engine aircraft.
According to the letter, which was accessed by The Asian Age, the Juhu aerodrome has sanction to employ 16 ATCOs. But it is currently being managed by only eight ATCOs, of whom two are trainees. The eight ATCOs therefore have to handle up to 120 operations — landing and departures of choppers from its two runways — per day, according to the letter sent to AAI.
The letter, signed by six ATCOs and addressed to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and AAI, read, “There are only eight controllers, including an in-charge and two trainees, against a requirement of 16 controllers. The hourly traffic handled often crosses 36 movements.”
The letter added that the ATCOs have informed the civil aviation regulator that the behaviour of their seniors is allegedly demoralising them.
08/11/16 Ashita Dadheech/Asian Age