Kangra Airport is set to become the first in Himachal Pradesh to have an instrument landing system. Airports Authority of India has approved the installation of devices which will reduce minimum visible runway length for any plane landing at the airport from 5,000 to 2,400 metres.
he Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has fixed the minimum visible runway length for any plane landing at Kangra airport at 5,000 metres, due to which many flights could not land during monsoon, as the weather remains misty in this season. The equipment is also expected to reduce the cancellation of flights to the tourist destination considerably.
Kangra airport manager Parwinder Tiwari told TOI that the device — Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR) — has been sanctioned for this airport, and the process to install the device has started. “The length of the runway is 1,372 metres, and the width is 30 metres. This airport falls in category II (c). Two types of aircraft — ATR-72 and Q-400 — at present are connecting this airport with the national capital. But earlier, we could allow them to land only if the runway is visible to them from at least 5,000 metres,” said Tiwari.
However, the Himachal government had imposed a 5% entry tax on the equipment being brought here for reducing landing visibility criteria. But now, the government has decided to waive the entry tax on the equipment. In the absence of the said system, navigation authorities had made some modifications at the manual end to cope with bad weather. “We used to inform the Delhi sector for flight take-off only when reports were for clear weather and visibility. It has reduced cancellations, but delay in flights was normal during the monsoons,” he said. Sammy Watkins Jersey