Jharsuguda airport may miss deadline

 

Jharsuguda: Launch of flight operations from Odisha’s second commercial airport at Jharsuguda may get delayed.

Though June 14 is the scheduled date for launch of flight services, the new airport has not received Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) license and training of security officials is still incomplete, sources said while citing reasons that could lead to delay.

Principal Secretary of General Administration Department, Ashok Meena, said “We have asked the Bureau of Civil Aviation Authority to complete the training of security personnel as soon as possible. Launch of flight services at the Jharsuguda airport, scheduled on June 14, is dependent on that.”

Even though the airport has proper runway, passenger terminal, lounge and a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) license, it still cannot launch operations without IFR, as that would mean a pilot will have to use his/her visual sense to land or fly a plane in absence of the same.

IFR provides instrumental support to the pilots in the flight deck and navigation is accomplished by reference to electronic signals, said sources.

Pilot, Raj Mahapatra said “Without IFR there will be landing problems during cloudy or rainy weather and also, in winters when visibility is very poor.”

According to sources, while the minimum visibility range to fly an aircraft is 5000 metre, at Jharsuguda airport, the visibility range is around 3000 metre because of emissions from the industries located in the district.

To implement the IFR rules, DVOR(Doppler VOR) instruments have been brought to the airport, however, the Regional Executive Director of Airports Authority of India (AAI) has said that it will take one and a half months to make it functional.

“We are installing the Instrument Landing System (ILS) which will be ready in one and a half months. Currently we are using NDB (Non-Directional Beacon) system for aircrafts to land,” said Regional Executive Director of AAI, KL Sharma.

On the other hand, Jharsuguda airport director has said that it will take some days to fix the technical problems but equipping the airport for night landing will take months.

“Night landing will be possible but it will take a few months time. However, planes will be able to land in low visibility conditions after installation of DVOR tower system in one and a half months,” Jharsuguda airport director, Loknath Padhy said.

A few days back, Air Odisha had announced that it will launch its flight services from the newly-licensed Jharsuguda airport under the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme from June 14.