Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Fali Homi Major on Tuesday said that the Air Force has cleared the Bangalore International Airport Ltd.’s plan to build a second runway south of the existing one at Devanahalli.

Speaking to presspersons after a meeting with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa at the State Secretariat here, the Chief of the Air Staff said the Air Force has given the green signal to the second runway of the BIAL.

Earlier, the Air Force had objected to BIAL plans to build a second runway. The Air Force had stated that a runway south of the existing one would drastically reduce the lateral separation between the flight paths of aircraft taking off and landing at Devanahalli and those from the Air Force’s premier training establishment, Air Force Station (AFS), Yelahanka.

The Air Force had also said that it had no objection to a runway being built to the north of the runway at Devanahalli.

The runways at AFS Yelahanka and the international airport are parallel to each other with a lateral separation of around 3 nautical miles between them; a runway 1.5 km to the south will reduce this separation to 2 nautical miles.

While the number of flight movements from the international airport is more than 150 per day, flight movements out of AFS Yelahanka, including those by pilots of the helicopter training school, counts to an average of 400.

The Air Force, said that a runway built south of the existing one could jeopardise flight safety, and result in training activities at AFS Yelahanka coming to a standstill.

The Chief of the Air Staff has invited the Chief Minister to attend a function organised to present “Presidential Standards” to the Air Force’s 59 Squadron and “Presidential Colours” to the Air Force Technical College (AFTC) on Wednesday.

President Pratibha Patil will present the “Presidential Standards” to the Air Force’s 59 Squadron and “Presidential Colours” to the AFTC.

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