State-of-the-art devices to boost runway visibility


Will help in smooth flight operations at the airport

In about a month, the Airport Meteorological Office (AMO) will install devices to enhance its weather monitoring services and ensure smooth flight operations and passenger safety.

To begin with, Drishti, a state-of-the-art instrument developed indigenously to measure the runway visual range, will be installed at the Chennai airport, officials said. The automatic device, designed in collaboration with National Aerospace Laboratories, Bengaluru, will help in measuring runway visibility and provide information for safe landing and departure of the flights.

NAL is in the process of installing such instruments in airports across the country, including Bengaluru. These instruments are relatively cheaper. A few airports do have more than 10 such devices along the runway, said S.B. Thampi, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai.

Officials at the AMO said one of the transmissometers fixed at the end of the nearly 4 km long runway to measure the visual range had been damaged since the 2015 floods. Staff members have to manually measure the visibility range at one end of the runway in the absence of the device.

S. Stella, Director, AMO, said, “This will replace the imported device from Australia and transmit data continuously on general visibility too. A minimum visibility range of 400 m is necessary for flight operations. We have received the instrument and once the other accessories are in place, it would be fixed at the end of the runway.”

The AMO would also install another instrument, Automated Weather Observing System, which will measure various parameters such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction and atmospheric pressure. This was designed by IMD, Pune. The integrated data from these devices will help in providing forecast and other details for smooth flight operations.


Apart from the usual picnic spots to visit this Kaanum Pongal, Chennaiites can now include the meteorological offices in their itinerary. For the first time, the department will keep its offices open and also hold an exhibition on College Road, Nungambakkam and the Meteorological Observatory, Meenambakkam till January 19.

This is to mark the 143rd Foundation Day of IMD on January 15. Visitors would be taken on a tour around the observatories.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:00:02 PM |

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