Monday, March 14, 2022

Kol airport ramps up infra for drone surveillance

Kolkata: Even as civil work on the new technical block nears completion and construction of the air traffic control tower gains momentum at Kolkata airport, the air traffic management team has called for the construction of an annexe building to house new facilities that have been proposed after the design was drafted and space allocated for various functions.

Among the new facilities that are proposed to be housed in the air traffic navigation complex include an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Control Centre (UAVCC), an Aviation English Learning & Training Organisation (AELTO) and a Regional Airspace Management Cell (RAMC). The UAVCC is critical as drones are predicted to play an important role in aviation in the near future. In several countries, drones are already being used to transport packages, medical supplies, food and other goods. Though it is yet to take off in a big way in India, controllers are sure that it will be integrated into the airspace management in major urban centres like Kolkata in the future.

The AELTO facility that also requires accommodations will be key to training and assessment of English proficiency among controllers. “There is increased stress in AELTO among both controllers and pilots to minimise misunderstanding that can lead to an incident,” said a controller.

The RAMC is a facility for coordination of flexi airspace in the region comprising operation of commercial flights through passages in the sky reserved for use by the Indian Air Force.

The Kolkata cell will be responsible for coordination of flights in the east and the north-east.

14/03/22 Subhro Niyogi & Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India

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