Mumbai, India: Aircrafts coming into Mumbai will soon be able to use a satellite-based navigation aid for landing. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to introduce a satellite-based landing procedure across the country in a phased manner. Currently, aircraft land with the help of ground-based navigation systems.
The satellite-based navigation system is likely to be introduced at Mumbai airport in three months. According to airport officials, the new satellite-based landing procedure, Required Navigation Performance (RNP), will give a new lease of life to secondary runway end 32, which is mostly out of use. The 32 end of the runway is located towards Trombay hill, which doesn”t allow the use of instrument landing system (ILS), a ground-based navigation system most aircraft use on the main runway to land.
“The ILS, which helps the aircraft land even in low visibility conditions, is available on the main runway and one end (14) end of the secondary runway. It cannot be installed on the 32 end of the secondary runway as its signal, which is straight, would be interrupted due to Trombay hill,” an airport official said. “The satellite-based navigation procedure will help aircraft negotiate the hill and land,” he added.
According to officials, RNP will also be a strong backup in case ILS on the main runway develops a snag. “During the 2006 deluge, ILS was submerged in water. In a situation like that, satellite-based RNP can help aircraft land more safely,” an official said. “If ILS develops a snag and cannot assist landing, RNP can be used,” he added.
“It will also assist the aircraft while landing in remote areas. We are planning to install it soon,” said Jayant Dasgupta, general manager, ATC in Mumbai.