Saturday, January 22, 2022

5G Networks Pose No Threat To Aircrafts Flying In India: Here’s The Reason Why?

Just two days after Air India announced that it is canceling some of its US-bound flights due to 5G concerns, experts in India have put similar fears to rest.

ITU APT Foundation of India said that 5G services rolled out in India will not interfere with civil aircraft altimeters.

The Foundation is recognised by UN body International Telecommunications Union and it works on spectrum related issues.

The US aviation regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned that 5G interference could cause problems with different systems aboard Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, especially at the time of landing.

In particular, 5G’s interference with a plane’s radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from switching to landing mode.

This could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway.

An altimeter helps the plane maintain distance above the desired or assigned altitude from the surface while in flight

It is a principal navigation device which also facilitates landings in low visibility conditions.

Many airlines suspended their US operations, such as Emirates, the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777, and Japanese airlines All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

However in India, where the market is preparing to roll out 5G by the year-end, a similar situation may be averted. 

How India Is Safe

Aircraft around the world use the frequency band 4200-4400 MHz for radio Altimeters.

The 5G system being deployed in the US in frequency band of 3700-3,980 is close to this frequency band.

However in India, lower frequencies of 3.3-3.6 GHz are expected to be used, whereas 5G systems being licensed in the US are within the frequency band 3.7-3.9 GHz.

The difference of more than 500 MHz below the altimeter spectrum works as a safeguard.

The C band frequencies that are being auctioned for 5G in India are completely safe and pose no risk to the Civil Aviation Radar altimeters.

The government will not consider frequencies above 3.7 GHz for public 5G services, which is the frequency band in the USA where this potential interference has been observed.

22/01/22 Shreya Bose/

TRAI Says 5G Safe for Aviation in India

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reassured that 5G is safe for aircraft operations in India. There has been a lot of confusion in people’s minds related to 5G being a safe technology or not. The concerns for the aviation sector came up primarily because of what’s happening in the United States. Air India had even cancelled some of its flights to the United States (U.S.) on Wednesday due to the same.

The U.S. telecom operators had started their C-band 5G services due to which airline operations were getting affected.

TRAI Chairman, P D Vaghela told TOI, that there are no problems for the aviation industry in India when it comes to the 5G rollout.

Vaghela said that there is plenty of safeguard between the spectrum that will be used by the telcos for 5G and the airwaves that aircraft equipment use. The same is not the case in the U.S. and thus the problems have occurred.

The major issue is with the airwaves that the altimeter uses which is in the 4200 MHz – 4400 MHz. In India, the telcos will be given 5G airwaves in the 3300 MHz to 3670 MHz. Thus, there will be a gap of 530 MHz between the frequencies that telcos will use and the airwaves that aircraft will use.

But in the U.S., telcos have been assigned airwaves between 3700 MHz – 3980 MHz. Thus, the gap between the frequencies for both services (aviation and telecom) is much less in the U.S.

An altimeter is a piece of sensitive aircraft equipment that helps the pilots with landing when the visibility on the runway is very less. Thus, it is important that there is no interference with the altimeter as it is a very crucial equipment of the aircraft determining a safe landing. But India has nothing to worry about here because of the spectrum safeguard that is present in between.

22/01/22 Tanay Singh Takur/Telecom Talk

Land search for second Kolkata airport

Kolkata: Bengal chief secretary H K Dwivedi has asked the DM of South 24 Parganas, P Ulganathan, to finalize a plot of around 3,000 hectares in Bhangar for setting up the city's second airport to reduce congestion at Dum Dum.

The state officials said that for a long time, there had been a demand for a second airport close to the city and scouting for land is on for the project. Earlier, the officials had suggested Andal airport as the second airport of the state. But that idea was rejected since the travel time from the city to Andal is over three hours.

The new airport will have at least two runways, each 3km in length, a space of 300m between them for wide-body aircraft to operate simultaneously.

The chief secretary also held a meeting with the DMs of Malda, South Dinajpur and Cooch Behar to take stock of the airports in these districts as the state is revamping facilities in these airports to make them fully functional so that the load from Bagdogra airport can also be reduced. The state government also plans to make the Purulia airport functional.

22/01/22 Times of India

Two flights diverted due to heavy fog at Vizag airport

At least two early morning flights were diverted or flown back to their originating destination, as the flights were not able to land due to poor visibility because of heavy fog at Visakhapatnam Airport, on Saturday.

According to Airport Director K. Srinivasa Rao, one Indigo flight from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam that was to again fly to Tirupati, was diverted and flown back to Hyderabad and another Air India flight from Delhi to Visakhapatnam to Port Blair was diverted to Bhubaneswar.

But according to him, the conditions improved by 10 a.m. and the flights were called back and the operations thereafter happened smoothly.

Due to heavy fog, we had to hold a couple of flights at the originating destinations, but had given the clearance, after visibility conditions improved around 10 a.m.. Thereafter, all flights landed and took off, said Mr. Srikanth, manager of Indigo.

22/01/22 The Hindu

Andhra to tie up with IndiGo to resume flight services from Kadapa airport

Andhra Pradesh government on Friday, January 21, decided to enter into an agreement with Inter-Globe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) for resuming flight services from the Kadapa airport in the Chief Minister's native district. The state Cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, approved a proposal to cancel the existing Selected Airline Operator Agreement with Turbo Megha Airways (Trujet) and enter into a new pact with IndiGo, official sources said.

The Cabinet approved an expenditure of Rs 20 crore to support IndiGo operations from Kadapa and also to meet the state's 20 per cent share under the Regional Connectivity Scheme-UDAN for other airports like Kurnool. Trujet previously operated flights on Kadapa-Chennai-Kadapa and Kadapa-Vijayawada-Kadapa sectors for three years under UDAN. As the three-year viability gap funding support from the Centre under UDAN ended in May last year, Trujet stopped its flights.

The state government, however, approved a proposal in May 2021 to extend Rs 20 crore as VGF to Trujet for continuing the flights on the two sectors for one more year "to provide affordable flight services in line with the RCS-UDAN and in the interest of passenger comfort".

Orders were accordingly issued on May 16, 2021 but now the government decided to terminate the agreement with Trujet and bring IndiGo into the picture to resume the stalled flight services from Kadapa, the sources added.

As per the new plan, IndiGo is expected to operate four flights per week from Kadapa for a period of one year.

22/01/22 PTI/New Minute

16 flights cancelled due to poor seat occupancy

Indore: Over a dozen flights were cancelled on Friday following decline in passenger footfall at Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport of Indore.

Around 16 flights including that of Indigo and Air India on routes like Indore-Ahmedabad, Indore-Chennai, Indore-Jaipur, Indore-Lucknow, Indore-Prayagraj, Indore-Bangalore, Indore Delhi and Indore-Mumbai routes were cancelled due to lack of passengers on Friday, airport officials said.

“Passengers who made bookings in these flights were provided with alternative options by the airlines including refund or seats in alternate flights to their respective destinations,” Airport director Ramesh Kumar said.

Officials said that the airport has witnessed cancellation of at least 10 flights on a daily basis, and decline in passengers count is seen as a reason behind the same.

Authorities fear that if this trend of decline in passenger footfall continues for a few more days, it would leave airlines with no option but to suspend their operations once again like it happened during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

22/01/22 Times of India

Duo cheated job-seekers with fake offers in private airline, arrested

Noida: The police have arrested two men for allegedly cheating several people on the pretext of getting them jobs with a private airline, officers said on Friday.

The accused used to steal the data of customers from different job search portals and contacted people who were in need of a job.

“On Thursday, our team received a tip-off regarding suspicious activities being conducted by some people inside a building in Sector 6. A team was formed and sent to the spot,” Shyamjeet Singh, ACP Cyber Cell said.

“Our team attended to an incoming call on their phone, where the caller, who was a resident of Himachal Pradesh, revealed that he had received several calls from different numbers and the callers had taken Rs 7 lakh from him in order to get him a job at the private airline,” Singh said.

Further, the team dialled another number from one of the seized mobiles and the caller, who was a resident of Sant Ravidas Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, said that he had paid Rs 1.25 lakh to get a job at the same airline.

The two men were taken into custody and during interrogation, they revealed that they had started a company and cheated people in the name of offering them a job at the private airline.

22/01/22 Times of India

₹76L gold ‘paste’ seized at airport

Mumbai: The Customs officials at the Mumbai Airport seized 1.86 kg of gold in paste form worth Rs 76 lakh from a Sudanese male passenger, who had arrived from Sudan via Sharjah on Friday. He has been arrested.

Officials on examining the baggage trolley found the gold concealed in a pouch wrapped with adhesive tapes. It was hidden between rods of the trolley meant for transporting the baggage

22/01/22 Times of India

Friday, January 21, 2022

Smart recovery: Cargo handled at Delhi airport inched close to pre-pandemic levels last year

New Delhi: Cargo has proven to be aviation's lifeline during the pandemic when passenger numbers have seen a sharp dip.

Delhi Airport last year saw cargo movement return to almost pre-Covid levels thanks to its strong international connectivity and being the nodal hub for sending pandemic relief material across the country.

IGIA last year handled 9.3 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of cargo, just short of the over 10 lakh MT in 2019. Last year's cargo movement was 27% more than 2020's 7.3 lakh MT.

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) says while 6 lakh MT was international cargo, 3.3 lakh MT was domestic.

In pre-pandemic 2019, IGIA had handled over 10 Lakh MT in 2019, which was about 30% of the India’s total air cargo.

The key product categories handled last year include ready-made garments, electronics goods, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and automobile/machine parts.

In 2021, Delhi Airport handled over 25,000 cargo flights, more than the 9,900 seen in 2020.

"Last year, Delhi Airport witnessed an increase in connectivity to international destinations. In 2021, international connections from Delhi increased to 87 destinations from 71 in 2019," DIAL said in a statement.

The big international routes showing high recoveries last year included USA, Germany, France, UK and UAE.

21/01/22 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Is the ATC responsible for the near mid-air collision over Bengaluru airport?

In October 2019, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) informed stakeholders (airlines, air navigation service providers, the airline regulator, and so on) of the commissioning of a new runway at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) south of the existing runway. The two runways were given the nomenclature RWY 09L/27R (also known as the north runway) and RWY 09R/27L (south runway). The first flight from the newly commissioned runway took off in December 2019. Even today, the KIA has the singular distinction of being the only airport in South India that operates parallel runways.

But on the morning of January 7 in a strange turn of events that had the potential to become dangerously fatal for nearly 430 passengers and crew of two IndiGo aircraft, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at KIA cleared IndiGo flight 6E-455 bound for Kolkata and IndiGo flight 6E-246 bound for Bhubaneswar for take-off almost simultaneously from KIA’s parallel runways. The two Airbus A320s, prima facie, were involved in an aircraft proximity (airprox) occurrence, with a high risk of a “breach of separation”, as they took off from KIA’s parallel runways. It was left to the alertness of an approach radar controller who, on noticing the trajectory or flight path proximity of the two aircraft, alerted the air crew.

According to sources at KIA, both aircraft flew at the same speed and climb rate right until they reached around 3,000 feet before the radar controller’s action resulted in them veering away from each other. Officials also disclosed that if the pilots had not initiated preventive action, the two airplanes’ flight path might have merged into a single point at around 7,000 feet, an altitude which would have been reached in no time since the two A320s were climbing at a rate of approximately 2,000 feet per minute.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s statutory body for the regulation of civil aviation in India, has opened an investigation into the incident.

Though the pilots said that the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) would have been activated and that there was no need for unnecessarily panic over the incident, the Air Traffic Control’s action in clearing both aircraft for simultaneous take off was illegal and unsafe and contravenes several of AAI’s regulations.

The AAI’s Manual of Air Traffic Services Part II, dated May 10, 2021, clearly states that when both runways (RWY) are available, the operations shall be in segregated mode wherein simultaneous operations on parallel runways are permitted, but with one runway being used for approaches and landings, and one runway being used for departures and take-offs. The AAI Manual of Air Traffic Services Part II, as part of the General Conditions, unambiguously states that the following conditions shall be adhered to: “No simultaneous departures from RWY 09R/RWY 09L (south runway/north runway) shall be permitted during segregated mode of operations or during change of modes. Similarly, no simultaneous departures from RWY 27R/RWY27L (north runway/south runway) shall be permitted during segregated mode of operations or during change of modes.”

The Manual of Air Traffic Services Part II goes on to further state: “No mixed mode of operations is permitted”. What occurred on January 7 was neither a segregated mode or a single mode. It was clearly a mixed mode, which is prohibited.

The AAI’s Manual of Air Traffic Services Part II also states that the control tower (TWR) handling arrivals shall inform the tower handling departures regarding “any missed approach/discontinued approach by arrivals”. States the manual: “During Low Visibility Operations Plan (LVOP) when segregated mode of operation is in progress on 09 mode and runway visual range (RVR) falls below 550m, tower one (TWR1) shall co-ordinate with TWR2 for those departures which have already joined Taxiway P/Q for South runway to depart from RWY 09R till RVR falls below 350m. TWR1 shall positively confirm from TWR2 that there are no further departures from RWY 09R [south runway] before allowing departures from RWY 09L. TWR2 shall positively confirm from TWR1 that there are no further departures from RWY09L [north runway] before allowing departures from RWY09R before reverting back to segregated mode of operations.”

Hence, not only is mixed mode not permitted, even in the case of LVOPs, segregated mode operations must first cease before single mode is activated.

20/01/22 Ravi Sharma/Frontline

Flyers on Hyderabad-Canada flight test Covid positive at Abu Dhabi airport, seek govt's help

Hyderabad: Passengers travelling from Hyderabad to Canada via Abu Dhabi have sought assistance from the authorities after some of them tested positive for Covid-19 at the Abu Dhabi airport.

Syed Omar Azam took to twitter to explain that he was one of the passengers on the flight on January 20. "We are stuck at Abu Dhabi airport for over 18 hours as some of the passengers including myself were tested positive for Covid19,” he said. He said multiple Rapid RT PCR tests were done at the airport facility.

"All Covid positive passengers have been sitting at Gate 28-29 since morning without any medication or help. Airport authorities could not even provide us a place to quarantine and there was no proper food. They took our passports and did not come back. We have asked so many authorities to help us, but no one helped us except some security persons who gave us food to eat. It is a very bad experience for us during these difficult times. We need help please,” Syed Omar Azam said.

While the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi was yet to respond on twitter, the airline that they were traveling in responded on Friday. “Hi Syed, I hope you have been assisted by our airport team already. Can you please also DM us your booking reference, as we'd like to look into it further? Thank you,” the airline person messaged Azam.

21/01/22 Ch Sushil Rao/Times of India

Dholera International Airport awaits cabinet nod: All you need to know about the greenfield airport

The ambitious Dholera International Airport project in Gujarat is yet to take off as the first phase of its construction is still awaiting approval from the Cabinet.

Phase one of the project has also received approval for Rs 636 crore of the total Rs 987 crore from different departments of the Centre, according to Ahmedabad Mirror.

Starting from Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) approval of the site in 2010 to the Centre’s site clearance in 2014, the project is yet to hit the road after seven years.

Here is all you need to know about the Dholera International Airport:

– Dholera International Airport is a greenfield airport project near Navagam in Ahmedabad district, Gujarat. A greenfield project is one where the work is generally started from scratch on land that hasn’t been used for construction or infrastructure earlier.

– The airport will be spread across 1,426 hectares and two runways of 4,000 metres and 3,200 metres respectively.

– About 100km from Ahmedabad, Dholera Airport is expected to be an alternative to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.

– According to a Business Standard report, the airport would be developed in three phases at a cost of Rs 1,712 crore.

– Dholera International Airport Company Ltd (DIACL) was set up in 2012 by the Gujarat government to develop the airport, which is now a joint venture between AAI with 51 percent stake, Government of Gujarat has 33 percent and National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust has 16 per cent stake.

– As per a report by Indian Express in December 2021, chairman of AAI Sanjeev Kumar said that all the approvals required to start the work have come.

“Environment Clearance is already there. Security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs has already been obtained. About 3,000 acres have already been made available by the Government of Gujarat and this land has been given on long term lease to the joint venture company (DIACL),” he said.

– During Phase-1, a 3,200-metre-long runway will be built for type 4E aircrafts, in the Phase-2, the same runway would be extended to 3,800 metres. And in Phase-3, the second runway will be built.

– With both the runways operating parallelly, the airport can expect 100 million passengers per year, the AAI chairman said.

– The airport was earlier expected to start operations by December 2023, however, with the delays the first phase should be completed by 2025.

21/01/22 First Post

Flight operations delayed at Bhubaneswar airport due to dense fog

Flight operations were delayed at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar on Friday morning because of poor visibility due to dense fog conditions.

BPIA officials said the IndiGo flight en route from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar was diverted to Raipur due to poor visibility. The visibility was 150 metres at 9 am and 500 metres half an hour later.

"First flight from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar landed at 9.27 am after the visibility improved. As instrument landing system is already installed in the airport, pilots can land the planes when the visibility is up to 800 metres as against the normal visibility of 1.5 km," BPIA Director Pravat Ranjan Beuria told TNIE.

However, pilots of small aircraft, on their own discretion, can land even if the visibility is less than 800 metre.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), very dense fog condition is when the visibility is below 50 metres and during dense fog when the visibility is between 50 metres and 200 metres.

"On Friday morning, dense fog prevailed in the capital and very dense fog occurred in Angul. The fog condition is prevailing due to clear sky conditions, calm winds and moisture availability," said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Scientist, Umasankar Das.

21/01/22 New Indian Express

Domestic passengers can carry one cabin bag: CISF

Passengers flying domestic flights will only be allowed to carry only one bag inside the cabin of the aircraft, as the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has ordered airports and airlines to enforce the earlier Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) one-bag order.

The CISF has asked the airport operators and airlines to implement the order after it found that passengers flying with more than one cabin baggage are choking the security check-in counters at airports across the country.

“As per BCAS AVSEC Circular Nos. 06/2000 & Lt12000, no passenger should be permitted to carry more than one hand bag other than those items already listed in the circular including lady's bag,” CISF said in an order issued on Wednesday.

“However, it has been seen that passengers on an average carry 02-03 Nos of hand bags to the screening point. This has led to increased clearance time as well as delays, congestion in PESC point and inconvenience to passengers. It is therefore felt that enforcement of the aforesaid Circulars must be ensured by all stakeholders/airlines,” the order further read.

The CISF, which guards all key airports across the country, has asked all airlines to inform passengers by putting this message on boarding passes/tickets.

“All airlines may be directed suitably to inform passengers and to display "one hand bag rule' on their tickets/boarding passes very conspicuously,” read the order.

Airport operators have also been asked to inform passengers through hoardings.

21/01/22 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

Man working at Mumbai airport, passenger held with Rs 45 lakh worth US dollars

Mumbai: A staffer of a ground handling agency and a Dubai-bound passenger were apprehended by CISF at Mumbai airport on Friday in a case related to the recovery of US dollars worth Rs 45 lakh, a CISF officer said.

Ritesh Parker of Aviaxpert ground handling agency was first intercepted at the terminal-II of the facility by the security personnel and "USD 60,000 worth approximately Rs 45 lakh currency was recovered from his possession" during frisking.

The currency was recovered from under the clothes and socks of the staffer who had an airport entry pass, the officer said.

He informed the CISF personnel that the cash was to be handed over to a passenger identified as Sufiyaan Shahnawaz Shaikh, bound for Dubai from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, he said.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), however, said Parker confirmed that he was about to hand over the foreign currency to the said passenger, he was stopped with the help of the airline and the matter was informed to Customs and air intelligence officials, the CISF officer added.

21/01/22 PTI/Times of India

Ugandan National Held At Chennai Airport For Possessing Heroin Worth ₹ 7 Crore

Chennai: Over one kilogram of heroin worth ₹ 7 crore was seized and a citizen of Uganda was arrested in this connection, the Customs department authorities said on Friday.

Acting on specific inputs, the department officials intercepted the 29-year-old passenger who arrived here from Sharjah on Thursday.

During a personal search, 108 capsules concealed in his inner garments were retrieved. The capsules contained powder that upon testing was identified as heroin. In total, 1.07 kg of heroin worth ₹ 7 crore was seized and the Ugandan national was arrested, an official release from the Commissioner of Customs said.

21/01/22 PTI/NDTV