The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has installed a new radar system at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, capable of better surveillance and air traffic management. The airport already has two other radars.
“The new radar system has higher data capability to communicate with aircraft flying around the airport,” explained Anuj Aggarwal, Chairman of Airport Authority of India. Besides, the new radar system can eliminate the ‘Cone of Silence’. The radars are usually not designed to identify the aircraft flying directly above its antenna. This undetected area of radar is termed as ‘Cone of Silence’.
The cost of the new radar system is estimated to be Rs 16 crores. The radar is installed in a separate building in the operational area of the airport.
“The new radar also consists of a primary radar with a range of 60 nautical miles for near runway vicinity surveillance and secondary radar with around 200 nautical miles range for long-distance surveillance. The new radar, with the antenna installed at a much higher height than other radars, gives a longer range of communication,” an official said.
The Runway at Mumbai Airport to remain partially closed
Meanwhile, airport officials have announced that the main runway at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport will remain shut for commercial flights between 9 am and 5.30 pm from 1 November 2019 to 28 March 2020. The runway may be allowed on some Sundays and a few other selected days.
On the days of closure, all operations will be shifted to the secondary runway. According to authorities, the airlines are already informed about the shutdown, and they are well-prepared for the shift. The main runway is capable to handle 46 flights per hour. The secondary runway, on the other hand, can only handle 36 flights per hour.
November to January is a peak time for airports. “The airport authorities will be working with the ATC (air traffic control) to maximize the efficiency of the secondary runway during the time the primary runway is unavailable due to re-carpeting work,” LiveMint quoted an unnamed source from the airport.