The Birsa Munda International Airport in Ranchi will soon be equipped with the Instrumental Landing System(ILS) to allow aircraft to land in rough weather caused by fog or haze.
“At Birsa Munda International Airport in Ranchi, ILS is not available. Now, it is being installed”, said Ranchi Airport Director KL Agrawal.” The process to install it has begun.”
In aviation, the instrument landing system (ILS) is a precision radio navigation system that provides short-range guidance to aircraft to allow them to approach a runway at night or in bad weather. In its original form, it allows an aircraft to approach until it is 200 feet (61 m) over the ground, within a 1⁄2 mile (800 m) of the runway.
At that point the runway should be visible to the pilot; if it is not, they perform a missed approach. Bringing the aircraft this close to the runway dramatically increases the range of weather conditions in which a safe landing can be made.
As ILS is not functional at Ranchi Airport’ as a result, due to poor visibility -owing to fog and or haze- in rough weather conditions, the flights fail to land and are diverted to nearby airports.
It may be recalled that on August 12, several flights were diverted to Kolkata and Patna. After weather conditions stabilised, the air passengers returned and landed in Ranchi.
Usually, during the middle of December fog engulfs air space in the early morning and night around Ranchi. This causes blockades in the landing of flights.
The Ranchi Airport officials expect that ILS installation to end and become operational by the end of November.” If this happens, flights will start landing in the midst of fog before the end of the current year 2022”, said Agrawal.
Birsa Munda Airport is a domestic airport in Jharkhand. It is named after the Indian tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda, and is currently managed by the Airports Authority of India. The airport is located in Hinoo, approximately 5 km from the city center. The airport sprawls over an area of 1,568 acres. The airport is used by more than 1.2 million passengers annually and is the 19th busiest airport in India.
Prior to Deoghar Airport which became functional this year, the Birsa Munda International Airport was the only airport in Jharkhand catering passengers across the State.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July this year inaugurated the Deoghar airport in Jharkhand. Deoghar Airport is the second airport in the mineral-rich state after the Ranchi airport and is slated to boost religious tourism with direct connectivity to Baba Baidyanath Dham, a prominent religious site.
It took over four years and more than Rs 400 crore to develop the Deoghar airport, which has been built by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Jharkhand government. Prime Minister Modi had laid the foundation stone for this airport earlier on May 25, 2018.