With effect from 1 January, 2024, Airports Authority of India (AAI) will commission more modern surveillance systems at larger Indian airports. This new surveillance system will allow airlines to minimise lateral separation by half.
Change in Lateral Separation
The distance between airplanes operating on the same lateral plane or altitude is referred to as lateral separation. either parallel to one another in the same direction or in opposing directions.
Currently, the limit of lateral separation between 2 aircraft is 10 Nautical Miles. With the commissioning of new surveillance systems, this limit will be reduced to 5 Nautical Miles.
This will help Indian aviation in many ways :
- Aircraft can take direct routes and minimise flight time.
- Fuel consumption is set to reduce with minimising of flight time.
- Airspace congestion will be eased.
- Airspace efficiency will increase.
- Airspace capacity will increase by 40%.
More about new technology
In 2018, the central government made it mandatory that aircraft should be equipped with modern transponders or ADS-B for majority of country routes. This transponders help in better surveillance as they transmit location, identification, altitude and speed of the aircraft.
Over the past years, Airport Authorities in India have heavily invested in upgrading most of the radars to Mode-S, which has modern technology. With the use ADS-B, majority of airspace can be tracked. All area control centers include state-of-the-art automation systems that can integrate surveillance feed from several sources in addition to the expanded surveillance coverage.
All of these have greatly enhanced surveillance capabilities, and following the proper safety assessment process, authorities have been able to decrease the lateral spacing between two aircraft.
Easing congestion at Indian airports
Next year in 2024, India is all set to get 2 new greenfield airports – Noida International Airport and Navi Mumbai International Airport. With this, airspace congestion is expected in Delhi & Mumbai airspace.
The halving of lateral separation will ease this congestion and help both airports in same city to complement each other’s operations.
Moreover, this move from the government will help airlines save a huge chunk on money on fuel consumption. Aircraft can take diect routes after taking off resulting in less flight time.
Source : Business Standard