An Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) survey conducted by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in April has revealed that the proposed elevated section of metro rail will be an obstacle to the approach funnel of the runway at Jakkur aerodrome of the Government Flying Training School (GFTS) in the city.
Also, the survey has disclosed that the elevated stretch of the NH, existing airport boundary wall fencing and some trees are also obstacles to the approach funnel of runway.
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, apprised of the obstacles, suggested to the State government to either reduce the height of the obstacles surfaces within the permissible limit as per Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restriction for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, 2015, or to adopt mitigation measures as suggested/recommended by the AAI by reducing the length of the runway.
The DGCA, in its letter dated May 20, 2021, had also told the State government to intimate it if the latter wanted the obstacles to be considered as per the provisions of the Aircrafts (Demolition of obstructions caused by buildings and trees, etc) Rules, 1994.
However, the DGCA, claimed that the elevated structure of NH cannot be determined as an illegal and unauthorised structure as the construction of elevated NH was done between 2010 and 2015 when the Jakkur aerodrome was not listed in the notification of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Following DGCA’s communication, the State government has now decided to adopt the mitigation suggested by the AAI to reduce the length of the runway by issuing direction to the director of the GFTS while claiming that it wants both infrastructure projects and general aviation activities at Jakkur flying school to ‘co-exist.’
These details were submitted before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj during the hearing of a PIL petition filed in August last year by Ajoy Kumar Patil, a city-based advocate. The court in September last year had stayed metro work near the aerodrome.
The State government had asked the AAI to conduct the survey during the pendency of the petition, which had contended that the proposed elevated portion of metro rail would obstruct aircraft operation as construction is being done in violation of the rules.
The petitioner, citing the outcome of the survey, the conclusion of the DGCA, and the State government’s decision, has now contended that his apprehensions about attempts made to either shut down the aerodrome or to render it redundant were being proved correct.
The hearing has been adjourned till June 18.