Srinagar airport to wait for CAT II landing system

The work on the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) CAT II at the Srinagar International Airport will be delayed by one year.

The work on ILS CAT II landing system, which shall allow operation of flights at a minimum visibility of 350-metre was scheduled to begin sometime this year. However, an IAF representative in the Airport Advisory Committee meeting held on August 31 had informed the members that “at present ILS CAT I landing system is operational at the airport, while the work on CAT II will begin in November 2021.”

As per the minutes of the meeting,  Dr Farooq Abdullah who had chaired the meeting in the capacity of the Member of Parliament from Srinagar constituency had laid stress on “need of an improved landing system at the Srinagar Airport,”.

“Once completed the project will upgrade ILS and runway facilities at the airport including the lighting and other capacities,” the IAF representative informed. The project has been undertaken under the IAF’s “Modernization of Airport Facilities and Infrastructure (MAFI)” scheme, the official said.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, an airport official said the upgradation of ILS will ensure that flight operations are undertaken in less visibility especially foggy conditions which had led to cancellation of 150 flights during December and January last winter.

“Currently the minimum visibility required for operation of flights at the Airport is 1300-meter but ILS CAT II will drastically reduce the required visibility”, the official said.

The official said the completion of the second phase of MAFI (CAT II), which might take a “couple of years” will also provide several other facilities at the airfield.

Pertinently, Srinagar airport is under direct operational control of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which controls its air traffic and landing strip and also the facilities of fire-fighting and crash activities, apart from the airspace. The terminal building, where the passengers check-in and check-out, and the apron area, where an aircraft is parked are controlled by the AAI.

The airport witnesses operations of 25-30 commercial flights every day.