IAF skip meeting
Srinagar, Nov 15: A crucial meeting to sort out the commissioning of the Instrumentation Landing System (ILS) at the Srinagar ‘International’ Airport Monday remained inconclusive, though it agreed to meet again on Tuesday to continue the discussion on the vital issue.
Informed sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that officials from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) put across their respective points of view with regard to the Rs 2 crores equipment, which is awaiting commissioning for the past one year in the wake of ‘discord’ between the two agencies.
“The discussion will continue tomorrow (Tuesday),” said an airport official, insisting not to be named. “There are so many issues that need to be discussed. So obviously it will take some time to reach at certain conclusions.”
Sources said one of the reasons that the meeting remained inclusive was the absence of the IAF’s Srinagar-based Air Officer Commanding (AOC) who didn’t attend the meeting. “God knows why the officer didn’t attend the meeting even as it was the IAF that convened it as per their feasible date,” the sources said. The AOC, they said, had gone outside the state.
The absence of the officer is understood to have embarrassed the AAI officers who expected the AOC to join.
Sources said not a single airline was called to the meeting, taking them by surprise. “The issue concerns the airlines directly. It is their pilots who have been often complaining of difficulty in landing during extreme weather conditions in absence of the Instrumentation Landing System,” they said. “So they should have been called to the meeting and asked to put forth their point of view.”
An airline official, wishing anonymity, said the ILS must be commissioned as soon as possible. “It is so unfortunate that the vital equipment, worth Rs two crores, is gathering dust for the past one year notwithstanding its need for urgent commissioning. Putting the equipment into operation would ensure easy landing of flights during extreme weather conditions. During winters, the pilots face extreme difficulty in landing,” the official said.
He said the meeting should seriously address the issue and resolve to commission ILS forthwith.
The landing instrument was installed in November 2009. Since then it is awaiting commissioning following “discord” between the IAF and AAI.
The IAF is reportedly seeking shifting of the equipment citing runway repairs, a move that the AAI is resenting.
If the ILS is relocated, the AAI believes it would run into losses. The IAF has sought ILS relocation despite the fact that the airlines have expressed serious concern over the delay in its commissioning.
They fear that the airport may lose the equipment if its commissioning is delayed.
Experts believe that if the ILS was properly calibrated, the aircrafts can easily land at 800 meters visibility, against the present two-kilometres. In the past one year, the Srinagar-based AAI and IAF authorities entered into several rounds of negotiations for commissioning of ILS. But when the meetings at the local level didn’t yield any results, the AAI approached the Delhi based office and the IAF headquarters to resolve the issue.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 15 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 15 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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