Only centre to get nod for entire system

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved the automation process introduced in the Chennai Air Traffic Control system.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) sources said a letter from the DGCA conveyed the approval for the operation from November this year. New Delhi and Mumbai airports were the ones to start the automation of Air Traffic Control.

But, in both places the automation was done only partially.

Following this, the DGCA had also given its approval to partly introduced systems in both the airports.

However, Chennai is the only centre that has obtained approval for the entire automation system, airport sources said.

The Air Traffic Management automation system was successfully put to use by the Chennai Air Traffic Control tower in harmonising the upper air space of the Chennai Flight Information Region, wherein the airspace above 28,000 feet would form one consortium of airspace, having uniform separation standards and procedures.

The automation system is capable of networking 64 radar sensors and can track 1,000 aircraft at any point of time.

Presently, sensor feed from three radars located in Chennai, two in Bangalore, one each in Hyderabad, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam and Bellary are being fed into the system, enabling air traffic controllers in Chennai to see and control aircraft flying over a vast airspace extending from Nagpur in the north to Sri Lanka in the south.

Besides, an expanse ranging from 200 nautical miles into the Arabian Sea to 200 nautical miles into the Bay of Bengal could be covered.

The new system also incorporated inter-facility-data communication, which would enable automatic coordination of aircraft information across various air traffic control centres, thereby reducing the inherent risk which existed when flight information is coordinated over voice, using telephone lines.

There has been a decline in the number of incidents since the introduction of automation in the last one year, the sources added.


  • New Delhi, Mumbai airports started automation process

  • System capable of networking 64 radar sensors


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