Port Blair airport gets night landing, take-off facilities

Port Blair, Apr 30 (PTI) Night landing and take-off facilities are in readiness at the Utkrosh Airfield of Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair, with the completion of the Airfield Lighting System (AFLS), officials said.

The aviation infrastructure at INS Utkrosh, under the supervision of the naval headquarters at New Delhi and Air Marshal Saju Balakrishnan, Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN), has undergone significant enhancements in the recent past, with the installation of several equipment under ‘Project MAFI’ (modernisation of airfield infrastructure), they said.

The commissioning of Tactical Air Navigation System (TACAN) and Precision Approach Radar (PAR) heralded a “quantum jump in terms of safety and operations” of military flights at the Utkrosh Airfield, a senior Command official said.

“The developments – AFLS, TACAN and PAR – make the Utkrosh Airfield fully capable of handling both day and night operations. Apart from its strategic importance, these measures mark a crucial step in improving regional connectivity and strengthening the UDAN scheme,” he said.

The official also urged private airline operators to avail the night landing and take-off facilities at the Port Blair airport.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had recently installed Approach Lighting System (ALS), Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) and Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the airport to help planes land in poor visibility.

“The VSI airport is now equipped with modern technologies, which will enable smooth aircraft operations during night, bad weather and less visibility,” Airport Director Devender Yadav told PTI.

“Earlier, we have seen significant flight diversions due to bad weather and poor visibility, causing inconvenience to travellers. The flight diversion cost is also a factor contributing to high airfare in the region. The operationalisation of ILS and night landing facility could lead to a reduction in airfare, too,” he added.

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