Sunday, February 17, 2008

BIAL’s first test flight on March 7

BIAL’s first test flight on March 7
Anshul Dhamija | TNN

Bangalore: Close on the heels of the Hyderabad International Airport conducting test flight operations, the Bengaluru International Airport (BIAL) will commence its test flight operations in the first week of March. According to airline sources, March 7 will be the day when the first test flight will land at the greenfield airport.
A BIAL spokesperson informed the Sunday Times of India: “Discussions are currently on with various airlines in conducting our first test flight operations. However, now a final decision has been taken on which day it should be conducted.’’
Sources said Deccan will be the first airline to land at the new airport. Deccan is expected to deploy an Airbus A320 aircraft that would take off from HAL airport at around 10 am on March 7 and make an under-30-minute flight to the new airport. The carrier is learnt to be flying select media representatives on the test flight.
“Passengers on board the test flight will be made to carry both hand luggage as well as checked-in baggage so that all facilities and processes at the new airport can be put into operation,’’ said a source.
Sources confirmed that Deccan will operate only one flight to and from the new airport on that day. Other domestic airlines are also reported to be planning test flights.
TOI had earlier reported that BIAL had started mock passenger trials to check the security and other processes at the airport. A special team has put in place a pool of mock passengers to test different functions and operating procedures at the airport. BIAL has been improving and finetuning processes based on the feedback derived from these mock sessions.
The mock trials are being conducted during peak-hour
traffic. Volunteers have been given a script to follow for the departure process: check-in at 10 am with or without baggage, use the various boarding facilities, security check and finally pass through the boarding gate before departure time. A similar script is followed for the arrival processes.
A CAT I instrument landing system has already been put in place, which allows pilots to go in for a touchdown at 200 ft above the elevated portion of the runway with a visibility range of not less than 1,800 feet. This landing system is geared to allow safe landing of flights during fog as well.


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