Monday, October 29, 2018

New VHF installations to boost pilot-airport communication

Chennai: In a bid to cover blind spots in voice communication between air traffic controllers (ATC) and pilots, Airports Authority of India (AAI) is gearing up to install very high frequency (VHF) transmitters in three places falling under air routes from Chennai airport.
Though radar is used to track planes, pilots radio altitude, speed and direction of the aircraft to ATC officials of the nearest airport when they cross pre-determined wayside points on an air route. The pilots and ATC use voice communication when a plane is handed over to another airport’s air space and pilots speak to controllers when the plane nears an airport or starts descent kilometres away for landing. A pilot said clear and static-free communication was essential to listen to the instructions of ATC officials.
“We are planning to install a transmitter near Madurai, Ooty and Bellary. These machines will eliminate blind spots in these areas. We recently installed a transmitter on the Pallavaram hills to erase a blind spot on Chennai-Trichy and Chennai-Vizag routes,” a senior AAI official said. These transmitters will enhance the range and strength of signals for planes when they fly along those areas.
He said studies were conducted and a report had been sent to AAI headquarters in New Delhi for consideration. “We are planning to conduct a few more studies,” the official said.
29/10/18 V Ayyappan/Times of India
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