Jharkhand’s Deoghar Airport has accomplished a noteworthy feat, making history as the country’s first airport to safely land an aeroplane in low visibility. On November 16, 2021, the airport, which opened in September 2021, performed an ATR-72 aircraft trial landing by using the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Category-IIIB. Compared to the conventional requirement of 550 metres, this new system allows pilots to land the aircraft with as little as 50 metres of visibility—a considerable increase. A group of professionals from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) carried out the trial landing.
Deoghar Airport, built under the auspices of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) or UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik), is expected to be a major driver of tourism and pilgrimage in the area. Deoghar is well known among Hindus as a major sacred site. The airport features a 2.5 kilometre runway and a terminal building that can accommodate 200 passengers. equipped with state-of-the-art features such as Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI), Doppler Very High-Frequency Omni Range (DVOR), Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS), and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME).
The accomplishment of the trial landing in low visibility conditions is noteworthy for both Deoghar Airport and the Indian civil aviation industry. It highlights the airport’s technological capabilities and operational preparedness to manage flights in inclement weather, improving air transport reliability and safety for both passengers and pilots. It is expected that Deoghar Airport will soon be open for business, providing connections between Deoghar and important cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Patna, Ranchi, and Gaya.