A newly constructed 32-meter tall air traffic control (ATC) tower will become operational from October 1. According to Raja Bhoj Airport director Ramji Awasthi, it would be the highest ATC tower in Madhya Pradesh, which will cover the entire runway area besides catering to the need of handling more flights and modern facilities.
The primary purpose of the ATC is to prevent collisions, organise and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots.
“The new air traffic control tower, which is facilitated with modern technology and auxiliary structures such as a fire station and cargo complex, will be ready for operation from October 1. It will be the highest ATC tower in Madhya Pradesh. It will enable air traffic controllers to have a 360-degree view of the airport and operational area. Indore airport has a 27- meter high ATC tower,” Awasthi told IANS.
He informed that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has given it’s nod for 24-hour fight operations. A proposal for deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has been sent to the Centre for its approval, which hopefully will be granted soon. The deployment of the CISF will strengthen the security at the airport.
With this decision, airlines will be encouraged to make Bhopal a base station. Night parking arrangements for aircraft are also made at airports with 24-hour flight operations. Earlier, flight movement used to start at 8 a.m., which has now been rescheduled from 6 a.m. “At present, flight services at Raja Bhoj Airport are available in two shifts – between 6 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. The services of non-scheduled flights and red eye flights will start soon once the new ATC tower gets operational and the CISF is deployed,” Awasthi said. Now, there will be no time constraints for the airlines. It is believed that with this decision companies will give priority in making Bhopal a base station. At present, Bhopal airport has a base for 17 aircraft including four in the old part of the airport.
Besides these, Bhopal airport is also preparing to ensure smooth movement of flights even during bad weather. For this, Raja Bhoj airport has decided to facilitate a higher version of the Instrument Landing System (ILS CAT-II).
Presently, the airport is equipped with the ILS CAT-I
facility. Regular fliers and aviation experts have been demanding the ILS CAT-II facility. The CAT-I facility was installed in 2013 and the glide path relocated at the runway to 50 feet from 45 feet to facilitate safe landing during poor visibility.
The ILS CAT facility is a ground-based instrument approach system that provides precision guidance to an aircraft approaching and landing on a runway, using a combination of radio signals to enable safe landing during instrument meteorological conditions.
“The 24-hour flight service will help in the growth of Bhopal in various ways. It will increase the mobility of passengers. Late night flights will boost the hotel business and tourism in the state,” Awasthi added.