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Issues taken up with management - 2006



27 March 2006

The Minister
Ministry of Civil Aviation
Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan
New Delhi.

Simultaneous use of converging Runways at IGI Airport, New Delhi


The ATC Guild (India) has learnt that the AAI is contemplating to force the ATCOs to make simultaneous use of converging Runways 27 and 28 at IGI Airport by first week of April 2006. While the Guild is in agreement with the need to increase aircraft movements at IGI Airport, we apprehend that rushing in for such operations without adequate planning and suitable study will lead to dangerous repercussions threatening the air safety. The safety of air traffic is being jeopardized in the name of enhanced traffic handling capacity just at the time when the civil aviation in India is poised to take a big leap forward.

The serious shortcomings of such endeavors are listed in the enclosed paper for your kind information. It is clearly evident from a perusal of these shortcomings that the planned procedures will

  1. Increase the stress on the working controllers.

  2. Increase manifold the chances of runway incursions,

  3. Every landing aircraft will have to wait for the previous landed aircraft to cross the runway thereby increasing the chances of mistake by both pilot and controller.

At this juncture you are requested to intervene immediately and stop this scheme of the AAI till the essential infrastructure and adequately trained manpower is in place so that the traffic handling capacity of the IGI Airport is enhanced without endangering the Civil aviation.

With Regards,

R K Singh
General Secretary


Additional Note

Safety Issues:

  1. Active Runway crossings by arriving aircraft from taxiway Y to taxiway C; this may lead to increase in runway incursions.

  2. The moment an aircraft crosses Runway towards C, there is no way a pilot can say he has cleared the Runway (There is every likelihood of tail of the aircraft intruding on the Runway, because there is no marking for the pilot (signage), to give runway vacation report.

  3. Added burden on the Controller; who is likely to commit mistakes and give landing clearances, while an aircraft is crossing the active runway.

  4. Creation of conflict points on the domestic apron between departures and arriving aircraft on B and C intersection.

  5. No exposure to the controllers for working in such environment. This may lead to controllers going for larger separations, thus defeating the whole purpose of simultaneous operations.

  6. With the increase in working positions in Tower / SMC / APP radar, IGI Airport is not suitably equipped to sustain the load vis--vis manpower availability (trained manpower)

Operational requirements for commencement of operations:

  1. Immediate training of controllers on war footing.

  2. Restrict the commencement of simultaneous operations if visibility drops to below 2000m, this is to start with, and if the controllers gain confidence, with experience, it can be considered to lower the visibility criteria.

  3. Provision of SMR at all times during simultaneous OPS, because this will be the key safety element and buffer that will mitigate any risks that arise.

  4. Ban transfers out of IGI airport for at least 12 months to facilitate smooth transition, because the outbound and inbound transfers however minimal will further drain the trained manpower availability. This 12 month period can be used as an opportunity to train the new recruits.

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