Global firm hired to improve runway utilisation

DELHI: IGI Airport may be India’s busiest airport but “poor” utilisation of its three runways is causing concern.

A worried government has asked a leading global air traffic control (ATC) agency to see how the hourly aircraft handling capacity of IGI’s runways can be increased, reports The Times of India.

“Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) has asked UK-based NATS (one of the best known air traffic control and airport performance firms globally) to do a study for optimising use of runways at the behest of the aviation ministry…. there has to be further improvement. The available space can be redesigned to increase the number of aircraft movement per hour. Our air navigation services are also trying to find ways of doing that,” said Airports Authority of India chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra .

With two cross runways, the Mumbai Airport handles 45 flights an hour. But the Delhi airport, which has two parallel and a third merging runway, falls way behind—relatively speaking—with 67 aircraft movement an hour. Of these, 62 are for commercial flights and five are for VVIP, defence and charter aircraft.

“After discussions with ministry of civil aviation and AAI, we are engaging NATS to undertake an airspace capacity enhancement study. The study will focus on the current practices followed by ATC in navigating the air traffic. At present, some of the best practices such as independent parallel runway operations recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are yet to be implemented,” said a DIAL spokesman.


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