NC, Congress pitch for ILS start
Soz Raises Issue With AAI, Farooq To Apprise Patel
Srinagar, Jan 12: Political circles in Jammu and Kashmir have stepped in to advocate immediate start of the already-calibrated Instrumentation Landing System at the Srinagar International Airport.
While the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz Wednesday issued a statement that he had taken up the matter with the Airports Authority of India authorities at New Delhi, the Srinagar-based AAI officials have raised the issue with the National Conference president and Union Minster for New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah.
Highly placed sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that the AAI officials urged Dr Abdullah to raise the issue of delay in ILS start with the Civil Aviation Minster Praful Patel so that the landing gear, worth Rs two crores, is put to use forthwith. Dr Abdullah, the sources said, was to fly from Srinagar to New Delhi this afternoon when the AAI officials apprised him about the dire need of having the ILS functional at the aerodrome.
Sources said Dr Abdullah promised to look into the issue and take up the matter with Patel in a day or two.
The ILS, according to experts, is a ground-based instrumentation system that provides precision guidance to an aircraft approaching the runway to enable its safe landing during reduced visibility conditions, common in Kashmir during winters.
While the instrument has already being calibrated nearly a month back, the AAI is awaiting a formal nod from the Director General Civil Aviation to put the equipment to use. Besides, the sources said, the Indian Air Force which mans the runway operations at the Srinagar aerodrome is yet to issue notice to airmen (NOTEM)—the green signal for airlines to go head with ILS usage at an allotted frequency.
The delay has already angered the airlines, who want the equipment to be put to use keeping in view the extreme weather conditions in the Valley.
“We want its immediate start,” said an airline official. “Our pilots have time and again apprised the AAI that they are facing difficulties in landing at the Srinagar airport in absence of the ILS, particularly during the winter months. So there is no point delaying its start.”
The AAI calibrated the much-needed equipment in December last year and immediately send a report to the DGCA for ratification.
But the office is yet to respond.
On Wednesday, the PCC chief, Prof Soz said he had taken up the matter of “proper calibration” of Instrumental Landing System (ILS) at Srinagar Airport with the Director General, Airport Authority of India. “I urged the AAI to install the system not on experimental basis but on permanent basis so that the flights can land in low visibility also. The regular calibration of ILS will also ensure landing of evening flights also,” Soz said in a statement here, asserting that he had also taken up the matter with the Ministry of Civil Aviation that flights should be allowed to land in the late evening.
An AAI official, however, said the equipment has been properly calibrated. “It is only the DGCA nod and IAF notice that is awaited. Once that comes, we will go ahead with the ILS start,” the official, pleading anonymity said, asserting that the matter has already been taken up with DGCA and IAF.
“We are hopeful that the two agencies will respond soon keeping in view the aspirations of the stakeholders,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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