Tuesday, November 29, 2016

No nod for using Russian aircraft for Cusat project

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has turned down a proposal to permit Russian aircraft M-55 Geophysica to fly over the Indian skies as part of an international research programme on climate change involving Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) and supported by the European Union.

The decision has hit the prospects of collecting valuable data on the impact of the Indian monsoon convection on the tropical tropopause layer and climate as part of the StratoClim project. The aim of the ambitious venture is to assess the role of upper troposphere and stratosphere in climate change and it involves 28 research institutions in 11 countries.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has expressed defence and security concerns for not clearing the proposal. Efforts by the research team to convince the authorities that the aircraft would be used only for research purpose have failed. The high-altitude aircraft has only a single seat, making it impossible for an Indian pilot to join the mission programme. The research team has taken the aircraft on rent from a private firm.
28/11/16 G.Krishnakumar/The Hindu
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