The night landing is not available at about 23 operational airports in India. Some of the most important airports are on the list, including the recently opened Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh. The airport, which caters to tourists visiting the Buddhist tourism circuit, opened in October 2021. Salem in Tamil Nadu, Shimla, Kullu, and Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, and Kalaburagi in Karnataka are among the leading airports lacking night landing facilities. India has around 100 operational airports.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) does not allow planes to land at night at airports that do not have a night landing option. The AAI must approve night landings, for which it considers an airport, while airlines express interest in night operations at the airport.
According to The New Indian Express, which first reported the story, the airlines must apply to the aviation authority Airports Authority of India for permission to use a certain airport's night landing facility. The upgrading of airports to include night landing facilities is a continual process that differs from airport to airport around the country, depending on operational requirements, commercial feasibility, and other factors.
ILS Facilitates Night Landing at Airports
The runway approach lighting system includes a series of light bars with strobe lights located at the end of the runway, which is the most essential requirement for night landing. A runway with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) is served by such a system. If pilots cannot establish visual contact with the runway, ILS uses a variety of navigational aids to assist them in landing the plane.
Lighting along the runway edge is also vital for airport managers so that pilots landing at night can make visual contact and align their aircraft with the runway centre.
However, simply putting the technology in airports is insufficient. Airlines must also employ qualified pilots to make instrument-based landings and use aircraft that are compliant with the latest technologies. Most large airlines that often fly out of airports with low visibility do, in fact, have the appropriate aircraft. However, they usually only train pilots who will be flying to these airports regularly.