Air site visitors management officers (ATCO)s at Kolkata airport from this month-end shall be in control of 1.7 lakh sq km of Varanasi higher airspace 24×7 that may assist flights to Delhi from Kolkata and elsewhere within the east, Northeast and even past safe direct routing or straight flight path to the capital.
Direct routing will imply environment friendly flight paths and therefore, much less journey time, which in flip, will lead to gasoline saving and contribute to creating the sky somewhat greener.
Furthermore, it’ll additionally make the sky safer by eliminating the potential of conflicting flight paths. “From March 31, this huge airspace shall be managed by ATCOs seated on the third ground of the air site visitors companies constructing. It will make coordination throughout an emergency state of affairs, be it an plane challenge or a climate system, loads simpler,” an airport official informed TOI.
With direct routing, pilots need not change frequency. This implies much less coordination load on each pilots and controllers. It additionally permits controllers to boost capability by packing in additional flights as all the sky is below radar protection. Controllers mentioned the transfer would remove the potential of conflicting flight paths because of coordination points. “There was plenty of coordination concerned in handing over so many flights to Varanasi ATC, one of many busiest routes within the nation, and receiving as many fights from the latter,” mentioned an ATC official.
Masking all the higher airspace (flight paths located at altitudes past 25,000 ft) between Khajurao and Lucknow to the west and Dibrugarh and Agartala within the east, Kolkata air site visitors area may also have the biggest continental airspace at 14.7 lakh sq km, superseding Chennai that has management over 14.3 lakh sq km. However by way of whole protection, Chennai will stay the biggest with 47 lakh sq km in continental and oceanic airspace. The overall airspace below Kolkata shall be 18.5 lakh sq km.
“As soon as Varanasi higher sky is totally built-in by this month-end, space controllers in Kolkata will handle 250-300 overflights that journey by way of Varanasi’s higher airspace. Following the rise in jurisdiction of Kolkata air site visitors area (ATR), controllers right here will handle site visitors on 15 worldwide routes, 37 crossings and 10 converging factors, making it one of the crucial difficult ATRs within the nation,” mentioned an official.”All jet planes within the Kolkata air site visitors area will now be managed from Kolkata. Solely the plane that fly beneath 25,000 ft, together with ATR and different turbo-prop plane or small planes and narrow-body planes that land or take off inside this area, shall be managed by native ATCs,” mentioned an airport official.
Seven continental and one oceanic airspace are within the Kolkata Flight Info Area (FIR). The final higher airspace was built-in in January 2021. Trial runs for the Varanasi higher airspace integration have been happening since October 2021. The mixing of those two areas had been delayed because of technical and administrative points.