In an inhuman move, the Central government-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has asked 30 air traffic controllers to vacate their staff quarters in Juhu and Vile Parle to make way for new transfers and move to a run-down aircraft hangar in the Juhu airport.
It’s not a temporary arrangement. The abandoned, dilapidated ‘Shobha Singh’ hangar will be the new residential address of about 40 AAI officials, including 30 air traffic controllers. Inside the hangar, covering about 4,000 sq ft area, the AAI has rigged up two rows of twin-sharing plastic cubicles, each about 100 sq ft, said a source. Each cubicle has two cots and an overhead fan.
What is worse, every monsoon, the Juhu airport gets inundated and so does Shobha Singh hangar.
“It’s worse than a prison cell. It’s shocking and demoralising,” said an airport source. “The hangar is not conducive for human habitation. It is located barely 10m from Indamer hangar and so there is a constant deafening noise as engine run-ups of helicopters are carried out even at night. It’s not possible to get decent sleep there.”
This move is likely to also affect air safety as controllers carry out the critical job of giving navigational instructions to the pilots to ensure smooth and safe flow of aircraft. “This move will surely affect air traffic control job functions. There is already an acute shortage of staff and this will add to the stress,” the official added. “It’s no place to send an official whose job demands split-second decisions that impact air safety.” Randy White Womens Jersey