The Birsa Munda international airport in Ranchi will soon be able to handle flights landing in bad weather conditions as authorities have started groundwork to install a CAT-II lighting system at the runway. The current lighting system allows for landing at 1,300m visibility, which will be reduced to 850m once the new infrastructure is in place, according to airport director K L Agarwal.
What is ILS CAT-II system
A precision instrument approach and landing with a decision height lower than 60m (200ft) but not lower than 30 m (100ft) and a runway visual range not less than 350m. CAT II approaches can go down to 1200 RVR. An autopilot coupled to the ILS must be used. There are specific procedures required of the flight crew including verbal call outs. A CAT II and above approach is more like theatre than anything else. The higher category ILS approaches are all about giving and hearing the proper call-outs at the proper time.
The minimums (which on any ILS approach also means the missed approach point) on a CAT II ILS are predicated on a radio altimeter altitude or RA. Minimums are usually around one hundred feet above touchdown.
What does the director says?
It is a step closer to fulfilling our commitment to provide world-class aviation infrastructure to our stakeholders in this state. We performed ground-breaking ceremony for this project yesterday (Wednesday) and work for installation of CAT-II airfield lighting system is set to begin soon. Once operational, the requirement of runway visual range (RVR) will reduce from 1,300m to 850m at Ranchi airport which will enable flights to land and take off even during fog or less visibility situation.
The RVR equipment that is located next to a runway enables air traffic controllers to measure the visibility at the runway such as touchdown and roll out, based on which decision is taken for take-off or landing in limited visibility conditions. Ranchi airport’s runway length is around 2,000m, and Agarwal said, “If all goes as per plan, the project will be complete in one year.”
CSI Report of Ranchi Airport
In the latest customer satisfaction survey index by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), Ranchi’s overall score was 4.95 out of five based on factors like cleanliness, availability of passenger facilities, and timely flight operations, among others. Agarwal added that they are constantly working on improving amenities and the overall travel experience.
Why CSR upgrade is required
Recently, the airport has witnessed an increase in operations with direct air connectivity to Goa and Deoghar. The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), in its domestic summer schedule, had approved flight services to Jaipur, Goa, Cochin, Mangalore, Visakhapatnam, Srinagar, and Deoghar from Ranchi. That’s why an upgraded ILS CSR-II system will help Ranchi airport to manage increasing air traffic in bad weather.