South runway of Kempegowda International Airport becomes CAT-III B compliant

This makes Bangalore airport  the only aerodrome in South India and sixth in the country with CAT-III B runway
Last Updated 31 December 2020, 15:33 IST

In a big relief from fog-related flight disruptions for passengers, the new South Runway of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has been upgraded to Category IIIB Instrument Landing System (ILS). This was operationalised at 5.30 am on Thursday.

With this, flights can land with a Runway Visual Range (RVR) as low as 50m and take-off at 125m. KIA is the only airport in South India and the sixth in the country to get the CAT IIIB runway, says the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL). Until now, the permissible visual range for landing was 550m and 300m for take-offs.

Till last year, hundreds of flights were disrupted due to visibility issues triggered by early morning foggy conditions. The new runway facility is expected to change this, benefiting thousands of passengers, who otherwise had to spend hours inside the terminal for the weather to clear.

Besides the advanced ILS that aids smooth operations during low visibility, the new runway has Airfield Ground Lights (AGL), meteorological equipment such as Transmissometre, Automatic Weather Observatory Station (AWOS), Surface Movement Radar (SMR) and other navigational aids.

BIAL had obtained regulatory approvals to operationalise the runway with successful completion of both trial and calibration flights followed by an inspection by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Airlines are required to deploy crew trained for CAT-III operations to make the optimum use of the facility.

Fog Prediction Study

In 2019, BIAL had signed an agreement with the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) to conduct a collaborative study on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the airport. This four-year study is currently underway to develop a Numerical Simulation Tool capable of predicting the onset of radiation-fog over the airport region.

North Runway Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation of the old North Runway, which has been closed for operations from June 22, 2020, is underway. The rehabilitation includes strengthening and resurfacing of the runway, as well as installation of LED Runway Centre Line lights and Runway Edge Lights. These enhancements will offer flexibility to operate in low visibility and adverse weather conditions, says BIAL.

(Published 31 December 2020, 11:47 IST)

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