Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Surat’s ‘highbeam’ festivities threaten to distract pilots

Surat: When it comes to celebrations of any sort, lights that seem to be aimed at informing the stars about the earthly do, seems to be a must at Surat events.

Mega beams criss-crossing the night sky may literally be throwing light on the organizers’ status, but how adversely it affects the pilots, navigating their huge aircraft in the air with hundreds of flyers aboard, seems to be of very little concern.

Recently, the police control room received a few complaints from the airport after the issue was reported by pilots landing at Surat airport.

These beams can distract a pilot and even for a fraction of second distraction can mislead them while landing the aircraft from their charted course.

Airport authorities and police department in the city are a worried lot with the approaching season of marriages and year-end festivities as moving high beam lights around the airport cause a lot of tension.

“A few police stations that cover pathways of airports have received messages from the control room to ensure that such high beam lights are not used. In such conditions police teams go for checking and ask to stop its use,” said a senior police official.

Airport officials claim that use of any type of light that is visible from sky is prohibited to be used in landing pathways of aircraft and around airports.

“Use of laser and high beam lights in the vicinity of Surat Airport at night can distract pilots of descending flights, which may lead to a major disasters. When an aircraft is descending at the airport, especially during night time, the pilot has to clearly see the runway so as to make a smooth landing,” said Aman Saini, director, Surat Airport.

01/12/21 Yagnesh Bharat Mehta/Times of India

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