Saturday, November 10, 2018

New Air Traffic Control unit to cut departure delays at Chennai airport

Chennai: Departure delays at Chennai airport will come down considerably during peak hours as the Airports Authority of India has set up a new air traffic control unit to clear pushback and take-off of planes on a separate VHF channel. Earlier, the controller who managed taxiing and parking of planes also gave these clearances which used to cause delays.

Having different units to handle take-off and surface movement of planes is an international practice in busy airports based on ICAO regulations.

A senior AAI official said a separate unit was started at the ATC tower to avoid any congestion or confusion when instructions for pushback and take-off of planes are given.
“Earlier, we had controllers who handled surface movement (people who managed or guided planes that were taxiing) giving take-off clearance too. There used to be congestion on the radio channels when instructions were passed on. There were instances when planes were told to push back and then told to be on standby for clearance for further movement or take-off. Now, there is a separate radio channel for these instructions so that there will not be any delay or confusion,” said an official.

The new Clearance Delivery Unit (CLD) is managed by a dedicated air traffic controller at the ATC tower.

The unit issues the ATC clearance and departure instructions on VHF to departing aircraft well before commencing pushback. It also issues clearances to suitably equipped departing aircraft through data link.
The move would not only bring down delays but also cut down on the possibility of runway incursion of planes waiting for take-off instructions.
10/11/18 Times of India