Kolkata, India: On March 8, 2011, Kolkata Airport in India will adopt a performance-based navigation system (PNS) involving GPS. Based on fly-by-wire technology that is fitted in most modern aircraft, the device will substantially reduce human error in flight operations during landing and takeoffs.
The resultant reduction in stress on pilots and controllers will enable them to monitor the flights better, either on board or at the air traffic control tower. With aircraft getting to fly on fuel-efficient altitudes, it will lead to savings in millions of litres of aviation turbine fuel, mitigating carbon emission.
“We are moving to a new system that recognizes the capability of aircraft and takes advantage of the superior avionics on board to reduce transmitter chatter,” said Gautam Mukherjee, Regional Executive Director, Airports Authority of India. Unlike the conventional practice in which the controllers manually guide the aircraft to land and take off, pre-determined routes will be feed into the aircraft’s fly-by-wire guidance system.
Thereafter, pilots need to only keep an eye on the avionics to ensure that the plane is adhering to the prescribed altitude, latitude and longitude. At the Air Traffic Control (ATC), too, controllers will have more time to monitor the movement of aircraft without having to continually prompt them.
“If there is a course correction needed, then we will communicate. But introduction of the new system should reduce transmitter communication by at least 80%. That reduces not only the chance of an error on the part of the controller in communicating a data, but also the difficulty of foreign pilots in understanding the accent of an Indian controller,” said a controller.