Tuesday, March 21, 2017

With Mumbai airport's new air traffic management system flights will be gone in 80 seconds

Waiting strapped to your chair in the sky for that slacker craft on ground to clear the runway so you can touch down is going to be less of a bother in Mumbai. The city airport is roaring with a new traffic management system which will allow planes to land or take off from a single runway within 80 seconds of each other.

The system, which relies on splitsecond precision and impeccable communications not just between pilot and ground control but between pilots of the two planes involved, was being trialled since last May. And after a nine-month test run, it went live on March 1.

A big challenge for the anticipated landing clearance system, as it is called, was to shave precious seconds off waiting periods while keeping safety mechanisms airtight. It was overcome by choreographing the sequence right down to every move based on anticipated time gap between the two flights, so that even as an aircraft enters the runway to land, another is waiting in queue, or lifting off at the other end.

An Air India commander who has followed the procedure at London's Heathrow airport explained it thus: "Under the plan even as an aircraft is rolling for takeoff, the controller will have given landing clearance to a descending craft. Or, there may be aircraft waiting in sequence to land and the second or third craft would have already received landing clearance."
21/03/17 Mumbai Mirror