South runway of Bangalore airport becomes CAT-III B compliant

Mumbai: The Kempegowda International Airport at Bengaluru (KIB) has become compliant for CAT-IIIB operations, which will allow the airlines to land aircraft at a runway visual range of as low as 50 metres besides take-offs at 125 metres, a release said on Thursday. The mechanism is functional at the south runway of the airport since 05.30 am on Thursday. Until now, the permissible visual range was 550 metres and 300 metres, for landing and take-off, respectively, it said.

This makes Bangalore airport the only aerodrome in South India and sixth in the country with CAT III B runway.

Fog-related flight delays in Bengaluru have traditionally caused delays and diversions, inconveniencing passengers, as well as resulting in financial losses for the aviation industry, Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) said.

KIB has installed advanced Instrument Landing System (ILS), Airfield Ground Lights (AGL), meteorological equipment such as Transmissometre, Automatic Weather Observation Station (AWOS), Surface Movement Radar (SMR) and other navigational aids, it said.

These navigational aids will help in smooth operations during low visibility due to inclement weather and foggy conditions at the Bangalore airport, BIAL said in a release.

With this upgrade, the south runway can facilitate aircraft landing with a runway visual range of as low as 50 metres and take-offs at 125 metres.

The north runway at Bangalore airport is closed for operations since June 22 for a period of six months for upgradation and rehabilitation, which includes strengthening and resurfacing of the runway as well as installation of LED runway centre llne lights and runway edge lights.

These enhancements will offer flexibility to operate in low visibility and adverse weather conditions, BIAL said in the release.

The Bangalore airport has obtained regulatory approvals to operationalise the runway with successful completion of both trial and calibration flights followed by an inspection by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), BIAL said.

According to the private airport operator, it had in 2019 signed an agreement with Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research to conduct a collaborative study on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the airport.

This four-year study is underway to develop a numerical simulation tool capable of predicting the onset of radiation-fog over the airport region, it said.

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