Gets temporary approval for three months from DGCA

The Indra automation system installed at the Air Traffic Control (ATC) centre of the international airport here to ensure air safety has obtained temporary approval from the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The formal commissioning of the advanced automation system, developed by the Spanish Information Technology and Defence Systems Company and installed at a cost of 3,19,000 euros, will be done once the mandatory DGCA nod is obtained, highly placed sources told The Hindu.

The three-month temporary approval for Indra was granted by the DGCA on the basis of a 72-hour System Acceptance Test (SAT) and subsequent operational trial.

The hazard identification process has been completed and steps are in place to initiate NoTAM (Notice to Airmen).

The air traffic controllers have started working on Indra, which is installed at the new Area Control Centre set up in the old visitors’ gallery of the domestic terminal. The old Westing House system has been retained as stand-by in the adjacent ATC tower.

The airport here is the fifth in the country to get the advanced automation system, fully funded by the Airports Authority of India as part of upgrade of air traffic management systems.

Besides enhancing efficiency, reducing the chances of accidents, and improving passenger safety, the new system ensures complete coverage of radars. Aircraft will be in continuous contact with the ATC while transiting to upper air space. Aircraft will also be able to reach an economic flight level and drastically reduce fuel consumption.

The new system gives pilots more confidence as they are always within radar coverage. The workload has reduced as the navigation is from a single centre.

Inputs from the area control radars in Bangalore and Mangalore and that of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system reach the Indra automation system. Blind spots with the ATC here have been covered with the interlinking of radars, the sources said.

Under the ATC, 200 nautical miles south of Kozhikode, Nedumbassery, Madurai, and Tiruchirapalli are covered.