To reduce the cancellation and delays of flights in an inclement weather, category II of Instrument Landing System (ILS), which facilitates pilots in low-visibility conditions, will be introduced at Rajasansi international airport in Amritsar.
The new system will guide a pilot up to 50-ft height, which means they can land in moderate fog. Presently, the airport has a basic category I of ILS which provides guidance only upto 200 ft height.
However, the airport will have to wait for long time the hi-tech landing facility, the category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS), which enables blind landing.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has already placed orders for equipments required for ILS-II, which will be imported from Germany-based flight safety equipment firm Thalef. The equipment is expected to arrive within two months following which the commissioning process will take place. This project is a part the up-gradation process of 35 non-metro airports in the country by 2010.
Talking to FE Arun Talwar, airport director, AAI, Amritsar international airport said, “Come December-January, flights are delayed inordinately for hours because of fog. The new system will certainly improve the frequency of the flights. Even if the fog is thick the pilot will receive guidance till 50 ft and can still land purely based on signals sent by the Instrument Landing System (radars) to the aircraft".
He refused to divulge the investment cost involved in the introduction of ILS-II. It can be mentioned here that the ILS provides guidance to an aircraft approaching runway using combination of radio signals to enable safe landing even in reduced visibility due to fog, rain, or blowing snow. ILS is further divided into three categories.
The Rajasansi airport receives 132 flights in week including 66 arrivals and 66 departures and 40 are domestic flights.
The airport is already offering international flights to Europe, the Middle East and America, including destinations like Birmingham, London, Bratislava, Kabul, Dubai, Sharjah, Ashgabat, Tashkant and Moscow, Dubai. Jet Lite Airlines has proposed to connect Amritsar with a new destination Bangkok and the plan is under consideration.