Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Need luck to land in Vizag airport

New Delhi: For five days, the airport at Visakhapatnam has been shut to civilian traffic, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. And this time it is not the airport’s bad layout — there’s annual flooding during the monsoons — that’s causing the problem: the shutdown is because the Navy-controlled airport lacks modern navigational facilities to guide civilian air traffic even in light smog conditions.
The airport handles 63 flights every week, operated by Indian Airlines, Kingfisher, Air Deccan and Air Sahara — all four have had to cancel flights. The only aircraft landing or taking off from Vizag are Navy helicopters.
Visibility at Vizag currently stands at 3,000-metres which is fine by standards at most airports in the country. But without a modern Instrument Landing System (ILS), Vizag requires a high minimum visibility level of 4,500-5,000-metres for landing aircraft. The hills that flank Vizag airport are also a hazard, contributing to the high visibility requirements.
24/01/07 Indian Express