Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mumbai and Delhi congestion to ease.

Air traffic congestion over Delhi and Mumbai is expected to ease by June when Airports Authority of India (AAI) puts in place a satellite-based navigation system which will enable it to guide aircraft flying over the high seas. The GPS Aided Geo-Augmentation Navigation (GAGAN), developed jointly by AAI and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), would be made fully operational by 2010, AAI Chairman K Ramalingam said today at a seminar on "Emerging Trends in Space and Aviation Meteorology". "The final phase results (of GAGAN) are very encouraging and we are confident of making the system operational by 2010," he said. Unlike traditional ground-based navigation aids, GAGAN will cover the entire Indian airspace and also provide navigational information to aircraft flying over high seas. India would be only the fourth such country, after the US, Europe and Japan, to have such a sophisticated system, Ramalingam said. The performance-based navigation system will come into place by June this year in Delhi and Mumbai airports which is likely to reduce air traffic congestion there, he said. Ramalingam said modernisation methods being carried out by the AAI should match those of the Indian Meterological Department for which the two entities have entered into an agreement to ensure safe and efficient management in aviation meteorology.

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