After hanging fire for a considerable period, the Srinagar International airport will finally have a CAT-II instrument landing system. The ILS is said to provide pilot descent guidance signals for landing on the runway under normal as well as adverse weather conditions.
The system, according to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), will be installed in April this year and will be completed by November.
The installation of category-II (CAT-II), a highly accurate and dependable means of navigating to the runway, would help obviate unnecessary delays due to lesser visibility at the Srinagar airport which actually is not a civilian but a defence airport.
While CAT-III B is considered the most modern ILS technology which is generally used in other Airports in the country, the AAI informed the J&K and Ladakh High court during one of the hearings in the PIL, which was closed last year, that IAF has approved CAT-II at the Srinagar Airport.
85 flights to and fro the Srinagar airport had to be canceled since Tuesday which led to chaos and confusion at the airport as hundreds of passengers, mostly tourists, jostled to catch up flights.
“Hopefully, next winter, our visibility requirement will reduce from 900 M to 500 M,” said AAI in a tweet as it also announced the installation of CAT-II ILS in April and its completion in November.
After the high court’s intervention, a lot was done to upgrade the airport. However there is still absence of some important instruments which would have otherwise helped the authorities to manage the airport in a better manner and prevent troubles that creep up and become more noticeable during winters.
The cancellation of flights is most undesirable for airlines and it must be agonizing when the reasons leading to them could be easily obviated. It is hoped that there would be better flight operations as soon as the ILS of approved category is installed. The travelers hope that they don’t have to endure the pain of being away from loved ones due to such cancellations and that they don’t have to be part of chaos or bear the stress of spending hours standing in queues. The government is also expected to ensure all facilities are provided to the travelers. The airport needs to be upgraded to levels as some of the best in the country. Hopefully steps are taken in this direction sooner than later.