India to separate oceanic Chennai airspace

Chennai airport will help airlines save 1,300 tonnes of jet fuel every year by having separate air traffic controllers for arrival and departure procedures from next September.

Sylvester Israel, general manager, air traffic management, Chennai, told the New India Express the current a single system where controllers handled both departures and arrivals meant the airport could handle only 32 aircraft an hour. Having separate controllers for departure and arrival would increase the air traffic handling capacity.

“We will increase it to 36 per hour,” he said. This can save fuel as air traffic controllers can plan landings and departures by adjusting the spacing between two aircraft.

Similarly, there is a plan to bifurcate the oceanic airspace of Chennai, which covers around 4,00,000 sq nautical miles through which around 400 international overflying aircraft transit daily using the 14 international air routes.

Sylvester said the Airport Authority of India, Chennai, had conducted a trial where airspace has been split into two sectors after assessing controller workload, traffic density in each sector, the number of traffic conflict points requiring controllers’ intervention and the communication or surveillance facilities available in each sector.

The project will be implemented after three  phases of trials after regulatory safety assessments.

 

 

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