Sunday, April 11

New taxi track to ensure safe plane movement

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Work on removing a major obstacle in unhindered aircraft movement is finally set to take off at Kolkata airport with the awarding of contract to extend taxi track F, a taxiway closest to the terminal. Not only will it provide departing planes a shorter and faster conduit to the runway, it will also enhance safety on the ground by doing away with several hotspots or conflict points that planes have to be cautious about when they taxi for takeoff.

At present, departing planes take taxi track A, the taxiway farthest from the terminal. Since several other taxi tracks used by arriving aircraft intersect with taxi track A, there are potential conflict points that pilots of both departing and arriving planes have to be cautious about.

Also, since taxi track A is close to the secondary runway, movement of aircraft on it is not allowed when the latter is in use. This delays the taxi time for departing planes by nearly twice the usual time, thereby reducing the operational efficiency of the airport by half. While 35 flights can operate every hour when the primary runway is in use, only 15 flights can operate when the secondary runway is operational.

“Work on extension of taxiway F that was planned years ago but has been pending will start soon. The project will take about a year to complete. Once it’s ready, it will save time and aviation fuel, enhance safety and also significantly enhance the operational capability of Kolkata airport when the secondary runway is in use,” Airports Authority of India regional executive director SP Yadav said.

This and other related issues, including SOP for formal operationalization of a rapid exit taxiway, will be discussed at the Safe Takeoff conference on Saturday that is observed worldwide as Safe Takeoff Day. December 7 marks the formation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that guides all civilian flight operations in the world.

Kolkata has around 500 aircraft movements or takeoffs and landings in a day. While ICAO standards are strictly adhered to in Kolkata, there are recommended and desirable practices that various stakeholders involved in airport operations will discuss at the meet.

“Operational safety and efficiency is an ongoing process and we will continue to improve on both counts. Each and every person at the airport, from engineering staff, to operations, air traffic control, communication, navigation and surveillance wing, pilots airline staff, security, DGCA and BCAS is engaged in ensuring that flights operate safely,” said Kolkata airport general manager (ATC) RS Lahauria.


Source: Times of India

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