At the time of downpour, the ATC controllers who were on duty had to take the stairs of the 26-storey building, fearing electrocution after the elevators and equipment installed inside the tower stopped functioning.
The Air Traffic Control tower, which has been newly built at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, was waterlogged last month when heavy rain pounded the national capital region, which created panic among the handful of staff. However, following the heavy showers, a suspected structural flaw has been exposed in the building, according to an HT report. The Air Traffic Control tower of IGI airport, which is expected to handle at least one flight per minute, every day is likely to be functional by the month of October 2018.
At the time of downpour, the ATC controllers who were on duty had to take the stairs of the 26-storey building, fearing electrocution after the elevators and equipment installed inside the tower stopped functioning. At that time, ATC was not controlling air operations from the newly built tower. According to an ATC officer who was quoted in the report, if the full operation had moved to the new tower, the entire air operation from Delhi would have shut down. He further continued saying that this would also have affected flight operations up to Lucknow, Udaipur and Amritsar.
The new Air Traffic Control tower has been built at a cost of Rs 350 crore. In the next three months, the tower is expected to replace the existing ATC building. The new Air Traffic Control tower is 101.9 m high and has been constructed adjacent to the present ATC building. Interestingly, once operational, the new Air Traffic Control will be the tallest ATC building in the country and will be the seventh tallest in the world.
The new Air Traffic Control Tower at IGI Airport has been provided with state-of-the-art equipment, including latest communication and navigational equipment. Therefore, the new tower will allow a complete view of the three runaways, apron area and taxiway in order to provide better air traffic in the country.