India to get tallest ATC tower at IGI Airport

India to get tallest ATC tower at IGI Airport

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New Delhi, India: New Delhi, the capital city of India, will soon have the country’s tallest air traffic control (ATC) tower at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. Airports Authority of India (AAI) is finalising the design of a 90-95-metre structure. The tower will be taller than the existing 60-metre ATC and the 72.5-metre Qutub Minar as well.

“We will upgrade to the next higher level software in the new tower and are already in talks with the US Federal Aviation Administration for that. The satellite-based Gagan navigation system and country-wide flow management system will be integrated with the new tower,” said, V P Agrawal, AAI chairman. Further he added that the new ATC was originally meant to come up by 2015-16, but had been brought forward by five years. The new tower-cum-air traffic service block should be ready by early 2013. The GMR Group (that’s developing IGI) will construct (it) and it will cost AAI about INR 700-800 million. The entire project will cost INR 2.5-3.0 billion.

The design has been drawn up by Hong Kong-based HOK International Ltd that gave AAI option of a central lift and crystal shapes. The authority chose the central lift. GMR Group chief G M Rao had said at T3’s inauguration earlier this month that construction would begin in six months and will be over in two years.

The new tower-cum-technical block will come up exactly between the existing tower and T3. The ultimate development plan for IGI four parallel runways. One more runway will be laid parallel to the newest (29) and the main (28) airstrips and come up near Centaur Hotel that may have to be demolished then.

The airport’s smallest runway (27) currently merges with the main runway. The alignment of this runway will be changed in coming years to have all four runways parallel to each other and allow independent operation on each one of them. At present, air traffic controllers sitting atop the 60-metre-high tower have trouble seeing aircraft on the newest runway in fog and other bad weather days.

The Delhi ATC software, Raytheon Auto Track-II, is currently being upgraded to Auto Track-III system that has several advanced features like generating automatic alerts if an aircraft heads to a no fly zone or is on a collision course with another plane. Its arrival manager allows controller to tackle congestion by adjusting traffic flow on a real time basis. In a special security feature, the system gives out alarms if a plane deviates from its set course.

Source: Economic Times