Friday, February 29, 2008

Devanahalli: Ministry team in City today

Devanahalli: Ministry team in City today
From B S Arun, DH News Service, New Delhi:
Concerned over the delay in the Devanahalli international airport fully adhering to the required norms for the project to become operational, a high-level team of the civil aviation ministry is visiting Bangalore on Friday for an on-the-spot inspection.

The ministry had made an inspection of the airport on February 8 and made several suggestions on various aspects of the project, which will be thrown open to commercial traffic on March 30 after inauguration by the prime minister on March 28. The team will now see whether these suggestions have been implemented.

Ministry sources told Deccan Herald here on Thursday that the team is being led by joint secretary K N Srivastava and comprises Airports Authority of India chairman K Ramalingam and Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Kanu Gohain.

The DGCA, the regulatory body, has to give the licence to the airport before making it functional. But for that, several parameters have to be adhered to. As for AAI, the air traffic control (ATC) will be manned by its personnel although the airport is a greenfield project.

In its previous inspections, the ministry had made 54 observations on the various aspects of a functional airport.
Most have been complied with by the project developer and operator Bengaluru International Airport Limited.

However, there were 14 parameters which remained outstanding. It is these issues the ministry will examine for compliance. These 14 comprise issues relating to the ATC including the control tower and the equipment.

During its last visit, the ministry was not happy as the equipment had landed on the day the inspection took place.

The team will find out whether it has been installed as per set norms. The AAI will have to certify that the ATC is in operating condition, a chief requirement for aircraft to land and take off.

During its last visit, the team was understood to have found that there was a delay in the ATC tower construction and was not happy over the equipment landing late. Now efforts are on to instal the equipment in time for the first test flight.

Other parameters include delay in the second circuit of runway lighting as well as continued construction activities inside and outside the airport.

The team will decide which of the activities on the airside of airport need to be stopped.

The Centre will take up another inspection on March 7. That visit will be led by ministry secretary Ashok Chawla.


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