Lalit Gupta Committee on Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) submitted its report to DGCA on 24 April 2014. The committee was set up by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in January 2014.
It has recommended that airports near Delhi like Jaipur, Lucknow and Amritsar should be upgraded to Category-IIIB level of Instrument Landing System, which has a runway visibility range of 150 feet or almost near-zero visibility condition. CAT IIIB is operational at the India Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
General recommendations made by the Committee
• All airlines would have to annually provide details on how many of their aircraft were equipped to operate under CAT-IIIB situations and crew members trained to fly in such conditions.
• The Committee has also given recommendations for setting up of a procedure for dealing with stranded passengers if the flight is delayed or diverted at Delhi and other alternate airports.
• Meteorological department should upgrade the meteorological facilities at IGIA and its designated alternate airports. In this regard, integration of meteorological data in one panel should be considered.
• Additional Runway Visual Range (RVR) equipment should be installed wherever needed and a provision of live RVR for all the runways at IGIA be made at Air Traffic Control (ATC) Unit.
• ATC shall establish Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Unit to implement capacity adjustment and collaborative decision making procedures.
• ATC shall separate Cat I traffic from Cat II/III traffic as applicable for holding at Delhi. ATFM Unit shall decide when to suspend Cat I/II holding at Delhi.
Recommendations of the Committee to deal with Fog
• A dedicated fog forecast should be provided at three hour intervals for IGIA and alternate airports.
• New equipment for measuring instantaneous low level wind, temperature, moisture content should be commissioned at IGIA for increasing accuracy of forecast (onset and lifting timings of fog).
• Airport operators shall not schedule any maintenance work at IGIA and alternate airports during the fog period unless it is unavoidable.
• During fog season, operators shall not be allowed to file IGIA as alternate airport without prior permission of ATC.
• AAI shall ensure that required navigational aids are maintained in fully serviceable conditions both at IGIA and alternate airports during fog period.
• Operators shall deploy only Cat IIIB compliant aircraft along with qualified flight crew during winter season to/from IGIA. For this purpose, operators must ensure adequate capacity build-up in terms of aircraft capability and crew qualification well in time before the onset of next fog season.
• All scheduled airlines shall provide their detailed Cat III status indicating aircraft and crew numbers through a consolidated return to DGCA every year.
The committee was set up with the objective to make Delhi a zero diversionary airport without compromising safety of aircraft operations. The Delhi International Airport Limited has witnessed a total of 289 diversions during the last three winter seasons. There were 57 diversions in 2011, 89 in 2012 and 143 last year.
DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.