Monday, July 12, 2021

Tech glitches hit runway visibility equipment at Bengaluru airport

Bengaluru: It has been over two months since crucial equipment that helps measure the visibility range on one of the runways at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has stopped working. The operations are now being handled on the other refurbished North Runway where the equipment is functioning properly, airport sources said.

The nonfunctioning equipment was notified in an advisory sent to airmen on any issues they face while landing at KIA. It was first issued in the NOTAM on April 21 and was again specified on June 24 and the advisory is valid till July 23.

The equipment, Drishti Transmissometer, has been developed by Bengaluru-based National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and the Indian Meteorological Department. “The Transmissometer at the 09L end of the Runway needs to be set right, while the 27R end is functioning. The equipment plays a crucial role in assessing visibility conditions when a flight is landing during fog or thunderstorms. It offers an accurate runway visual range to the pilots,” a source said.  

Cables connected to the equipment send alerts to the IMD as well as the Air Traffic Control Room, he added. There has been repeated correspondence on the issue with NAL, and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has carried out an inspection of the runway. The Covid pandemic has delayed fixing the issue, another source said.

12/07/21 S Lalitha/New Indian Express

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