Incessant Rains and Flood Force Closure of Chennai Airport

Incessant Rains and Flood Force Closure of Chennai Airport
Incessant rains and consequent flooding in Chennai have brought airport operations to a stand still. Till up to 8 PM yesterday, airport operations had continued with only sporadic missed approaches due to heavy rain and the associated poor visibility.

At 8 PM yesterday, when the level of water on the taxiways rose to about two feet, the airfield was closed initially for a period of three hours, which was subsequently extended up to 6 AM this morning. However, by 6AM today, the situation had deteriorated severely, leading to submerging of entire operational area in approximately 7 Feet of water. All incoming flights were diverted to alternate airfields, except one international flight which was cleared due medical priority.

During the closure, 12 domestic and 12 international arrivals were diverted on 1st December 2015. 34 numbers of aircrafts are stranded at the airport. All international and domestic flights to and from Chennai have been cancelled.

The navigational aids within the airfield have been switched off due to heavy water logging. However, the Secondary Surveillance Radar is available and the Air Traffic Services to Overflying traffic are not affected.

Chennai Aerodrome has been closed up to 12 noon of 6th December 2015. The situation is being closely monitored and any further action will be taken subject to review for resumption of services as soon as possible.

90 passengers have been sent to Bangalore by buses and 200 passengers have been transferred to the city. Airports Authority of India has established emergency Contact Numbers of Terminal Manager at Chennai for assistance. The contact nos.are+91 44 22563100 & + 91 8056220066.

International Flights Possible from Guwahati
There are 11 operational airports in North Eastern Region, out of which two airports, Guwahati and Imphal are international airports. Guwahati is available as point of call to designated airlines of ASEAN (except Philippines, Laos) and SAARC (except Pakistan and Afghanistan) countries for unlimited operations. There is no proposal for setting up new international airports in NER. Indian carriers are free to mount services from any point in India to foreign destinations as per the respective bilateral agreements against the traffic rights allocated to them. The Govt. does not interfere in the commercial judgment of the airlines for operations on any route allocated to the designated carriers. The foreign airlines can operate on designated points of call available under the bilateral agreement.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

Efforts on to Ensure on Time Performance (OTP) of AI Flights
All possible efforts are being made to ensure On Time Performance (OTP) of Air India flights. The OTP is being monitored at the highest level within Air India on daily basis .A video conference is anchored by Integrated Operation Control Centre (IOCC) everyday in which the representatives of operating departments from four regions participate to review the previous day's operation and evolve process improvement wherever possible. Wherever required, issues are taken up with airport operators, ground handling agencies etc .The Ministry also regularly monitors the OTP of AI.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

AAI Installs MSSR at 21 Airports
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has installed Air Traffic Control System at Kolkata Airport, which was commissioned in November 2014. It has resulted in increased situational awareness in ATC, increased safety, operational efficiency, fuel savings for airlines as a result of direct routings and reduction in carbon emissions.

AAI has installed MSSR at Chennai, Bellary, Bhopal, Porbandar, Vizag, Jharsuguda, Katihar, Kolkata, Udaipur, Chennai, Delhi, Cochin, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Amritsar, Nagpur, Varanasi, Berhampur and Mangalore. Upgradation of air traffic control systems at various airports is a continuous process and taken up by AAI on need basis.

Jaisalmer(CE), Bikaner(CE), Bathinda(CE), Kaddappa, Jalgaon, Andal Airport, Durgapur have been enabled for charter flights.

Benefits of installing MSSR Radars Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar is state-of-the-art Secondary Surveillance Radar with improved range and detection capabilities deployed for the surveillance of Indian airspace for the purpose of providing Air Traffic Services in India. The range of these radars are 400 kms. MSSRs help in better coverage and the air routes thereby increasing the airspace utilization by providing reduced separation between aircrafts. Typically, a MSSR consists of a ground Interrogator which transmit interrogations at a radio frequency of 1030 MHz. Aircraft equipped with transponders reply to these interrogations at a radio frequency of 1090 MHz, along with information on the aircraft identity, flight level etc. The ground based equipment receive these replies, extract and provide the relevant information of range, azimuth, identity, flight level etc. on the display at Air Traffic Controllers position for the purpose of resolution of air traffic within their jurisdiction.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

Draft National Civil Aviation Policy Air to Boost Air Connectivity to Tier-II and Tier-III Cities
Government of India has formulated a Draft National Civil Aviation Policy in order to promote regional connectivity across the country. The Policy encourages revival of unserved and under-served aerodromes and airstrips as no-frills airports to provide connectivity to the Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

The draft National Civil Aviation Policy provides for the revival of air strips, depending on demand, as No-Frills Airports mostly through Airports Authority of India (AAI). AAI has undertaken works at five locations, namely, Hubli and Belgaum in Karnataka, Kishangarh in Rajasthan, Jharsuguda in Odisha and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh.

AAI has undertaken the development and modernization of airports at Bathinda, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Gondia, Jalgaon, Kadappa, Puducherry and Mysore. Out of these airports, scheduled operations have started at Kadappa, Puducherry and Mysore whereas flying training facilities are provided at Gondia airport which is under use for trainee pilots.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

AI Raises 300 Million USD Loan to Meet Working Capital Requirements
Air India has concluded agreement with Citi Bank/ State Bank of India for loan of USD300 million External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) to meet its working capital requirements, especially towards aircraft spare payments. The said amount is being drawn in installments. The ECB loan has an average maturity of 3 years and is repayable over five years in installments.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

Centre Grants 'In-Principle' Approval To 13 Greenfield Airport Projects
Government of India has granted site clearance to DMIDC (project proponent) for setting up of a Greenfield Airport for public use near Bhiwadi in Alwar district of Rajasthan. The government has granted 'in-principle' approval to 13 projects: Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai, Sindhudurg and Shirdi in Maharashtra, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Hassan and Shimoga in Karnataka, Kannur in Kerala, Dabra in Gwalior, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh and Karaikal in Puducherry.

Government of India has granted 'in-principle' approval to Government of Uttar Pradesh for setting up of a Greenfield Airport at Kushinagar. A view on setting up of Greenfield Airport at Jewar will be taken after receiving a complete updated proposal from the Government of Uttar Pradesh . Government of Uttar Pradesh is responsible for further progress in the project as necessary action for approval from various departments, project development, including financing of the airport project has to be obtained by the respective airport promoter.

This information was given by the Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

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