Trial operations have begun, nod from DGCA awaited

Come November, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will provide all air traffic services at Mangalore International Airport from a new building.

The services would be shifted from the old terminal building at Bajpe.

The new air traffic services complex, which includes the new air traffic control (ATC) tower, has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 20 crore, the director of the airport, J. T. Radhakrishna told The Hindu.

The complex would have the area control centre, which provides navigational services to overlying flights up to 200 nautical miles from the airport, and the ATC tower, which provides services exclusively to flights arriving to Mangalore International Airport and departing from the airport, up to 60 nautical miles.

The area control centre provides navigational services to prevent collision between aircrafts and expedite and maintain an orderly flow of traffic of aircrafts flying to different destinations in the air space.

The centre assists pilots directly through communication, surveillance and navigational aids.

Mr. Radhakrishna said the trial operations of the services in the new 24-metre-high ATC tower had begun, and the AAI was awaiting the approval from the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for its commissioning.

Shift from old building

All navigational equipment of the area control centre would be shifted from the old terminal building to the complex, built away from the intersection of the old and new runway, by the end of October, he said.

The director said that the new building with 3,900 sq. mt. floor area comprises a basement and three floors. It would house the airport office of the Indian Meteorological Department.

It would also have an anti-hijack control room, meant for meetings of officials and ministers and negotiations with hijackers in case of a hijack incident.

The area control centre at the airport began providing services round the clock from September 12, 2005. Till then it was providing services for only 13 hours – from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The services provided by the Mangalore area control centre covered parts of air spaces of Bangalore, Hubli, Bellary, Goa, Kozhikode and Arabian Sea, he said.

He said that once all the services from the old terminal building were shifted, the AAI might hand over some space in the old terminal building to the Indian Coast Guard for its aircraft operations. But a decision to this effect was pending.

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