The instrument landing system (ILS) has been shifted out of the Gannavaram Airport and the worst fears of passengers have come true with the officials of the Airports of Authority of India also confirming. Now there could be delayed landings or no-landing days when weather conditions do not favour normal landing of an aircraft.

The airport officials have said the instrument landing system was shifted to Tirupati Airport in view of the immediate use there and a new system would be procured whenever the need arises at Gannavaram airport as part of its future expansion programme.

The instrument landing system equipment is crucial for enabling flights land at the airport even in adverse conditions like rains, clouds and fog.

Frequent fliers feel that the AAI had diverted the ILS only because the government had not handed over the required land to the AAI for going ahead with the expansion of the Gannavaram runway. “The ILS building is ready but the equipment was not installed. It is not in the best interests of the airport development here,” says R.V.L.N.G. Prasad, representative of the Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Night landing

The taxi way, apron and night landing facilities had been developed in the past two years, but there are many more works to be taken up on terminal building construction, extension of the runway and so on to enable landing of even bigger aircraft carrying 160 passengers.

Mr. Prasad expressed concern over the present resources.

He said the Gannavaram airport officials were not able to provide enough space even to the airline operators to run their ticket and check-in counters. While the airport officials are keenly awaiting the clearance of land, the district administration is stated to be clueless about the progress of the land acquisition.

Stating that the land was playing a crucial part in the entire episode, Mr. Prasad said from the Andhra Chamber, they would once again bring pressure on the administration to follow up on the approval of land acquisition given by the Chief Minister recently.

He said the activities at the airport went on in a very slow pace till now in view of the lack of land and any loss of further time in this matter would lead to more obstacles in the development of airport.

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