Bangalore: A team of experts from the Airport Authority of India (AAI), led by D.P Singh, General Manager (Communication and Management Survey), is assessing the air traffic and passenger capacity of the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) at Devanahalli following a direction from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
According to sources in the BIA, the team of four members arrived here a couple of days ago and is collecting data and assessing the capacity of the new airport to handle the air and passenger traffic.
The study is being carried out following an order of the Karnataka High Court that had asked the Centre to renegotiate with the promoters of the new airport the possibility of opening the HAL airport for domestic or short distance flights.
The team of experts is likely to complete its study by the end of this week and submit a report, based on which the Ministry will recommence the process of renegotiation with the promoter of the new airport, Bangalore International Airport Ltd., on the contentious issue of opening the HAL airport for partial commercial operations.
Meanwhile, the officials working at the newly built Air Traffic Control tower at BIA were shocked to see water leaking into the building during the recent rains.
“It is surprising and shocking to see an ATC tower built with international standards leaking within a few days of opening. Luckily no damage has been caused to any equipment,” said the officials.
The officials pointed out that the airport management had taken up the repair work to stop leaks but by then rain stopped. “We have to wait for rains to see the result,” said an officer.
The same Very High Frequency Omni Range (VOR) allotted to the Arakonam Naval base in Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru International Airport Ltd. is confusing the pilots while approaching Bangalore from Chennai.
Sources said that pilots, about 15 minutes after take-off from Chennai airport, were getting the same VOR signals that they got from the BIAL.
The AAI officials said the pilots were getting these signals from Arakonam naval base, which had the same VOR. It was misleading the pilots and some pilots had complained about this confusion to the ATC, they added.
When it was brought to the notice of BIA Chief Executive Officer Albert Bruner on Monday during a talk at the Aeronautical Society of India, he said that he was unaware of such a problem and assured the team to look into it.
The employees and officials working at the ATC tower complained that they were facing problems to climb up as the only lift provided for the 20-storeyed building stops functioning during power failure.
“Already on four or five such occasions we had to either wait or take climb the staircase after the airport commenced operation on May 24,” said an officer expressing anguish over how the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation had given licence although it was one of the lacunae pointed out by it earlier.
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