KV Network

Logical thinking needed

Logical thinking needed
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As surface transport continues to be a cause for concern for the people of Kashmir valley, it is the air traffic that has been causing serious worry during the past few winters now.

When the Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for most part of January and February this year air traffic too hit the travelers badly as more than 150 flights were cancelled at the Srinagar airport in the past one month.

All this happened due to bad weather conditions and poor visibility, even as little efforts are being made to install a high-end landing system at the aerodrome.

The flight cancellations happened despite Srinagar airport witnessing an 18 percent increase in the flyer footfall during 2018.

The Srinagar airport witnessed footfall of 22.80 lakh passengers (both incoming and outgoing) in 2017, this number was 26.9 lakh in 2018.

Despite the fact that the aviation Industry is making headway every now and then in almost all sectors, Kashmir has been left behind in any of these advancements.

The Srinagar airport has an outdated instrumentation landing system (ILS) which becomes the cause for frequent cancellation of flights in bad weather conditions.

The ILS is a ground-based instrumentation system that provides precision guidance to an aircraft approaching the runway to enable its safe landing during reduced visibility conditions.

In January this year, Srinagar airport witnessed 83 flight cancellations due to inclement weather, though snow is not allowed to accumulate on the runway with the use of state-of-the-art snow clearance machines. Most flight cancellations happen due to poor visibility.

At present any aircraft needs 1300 meters visibility for landing at the Srinagar airport, however, if an advanced ILS system is put in place the visibility requirement can slip to much lower levels and flights can operate in lesser visibility with ease.

The Srinagar Airport was technically cleared for night operations and even experimental landing and taking off also proved successfully in August last year but so far no headway has been made to improve on the ILS that could have provided a boost not just to local tourism but will also fuel growth for the airport as well which has for the last many years now been a loss making entity.

Notably, the revenue generated by the Airports Authority of India at the Srinagar Airport has been witnessing losses between 5 percent to 35 percent for last few years now. And if the night operations by the airliners along with proposed terminal expansion will turn into a reality it will help Srinagar Airport to earn a better revenue from the passenger footfall.

The present flight landings at the Srinagar Airport are able to take place till 5:30 PM during winters and 7:30 PM during summers but introduction of night-landing will allow these operations even till the late evening hours. The late evening fight operations will help to increase passenger influx which can generate much revenue for the airport to come out of the red.

The improvement of revenue and passenger footfall will help improve infrastructure and services at the airport and the government too will not to strain itself by investing its resources time and again.


KV Network

Kashmir Vision cover all daily updates for the newspaper

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