BLR Airport or Kempegowda International Airport has become the first airport in India to install the indigenous aviation weather monitoring system (AWMS) technology, developed by Bengaluru-based Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), at both ends of the new runway.
The installation was part of the effort to “support and boost” the country’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the airport operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), claimed in a press statement on Tuesday.
In addition, BLR Airport has installed four Drishti transmissometers – also developed by NAL, in association with the Indian Metrological Department (IMD) – to measure the runway visibility range (RVR). BLR Airport has the unique honour of having NAL’s 50th Drishti installed at its runway. With this, BLR Airport now has a total of six Indian made RVRs at both runways.
The Drishti transmissometer is acclaimed for precise reporting, helping pilots with an accurate runway visual range. It is suitable for all categories of airports such as CAT I, CAT II, CAT III A & B and measures RVR down to 25 meters.
With AWMS and RVR integrated, the data is displayed on one single display screen. With the web-enabled feature, the data can be accessed, and maintenance carried out from any location.
“At BIAL, we are proud to take the lead to adopt this indigenous technology, which is critical for airport operations. This technology will enable seamless operations at BLR Airport,” said Hari Marar, Managing Director & CEO, BIAL.
Meanwhile, the 10-metre mast on which AWMS sensors are installed is a first-of-its-kind, designed by NAL, with several unique features including being eco-friendly and light weight, with a life of over 60 years. The sliding mechanism enables easy maintenance, a useful feature considering the busy traffic on the runway.
North Runway Closed for Rehabilitation
The North Runway (existing) at BLR Airport will be closed for rehabilitation, starting 1200 hours on June 22. The rehabilitation includes strengthening and resurfacing of the runway as well as installation of Runway centerline lights.
Once complete, these enhancements offer flexibility to operate both runways in low visibility and adverse weather conditions. The runway rehabilitation is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
All flight operations from BLR Airport during this period will be from the new South Runway, until completion of North Runway rehabilitation. Once the North Runway is operational, post rehabilitation, both runways will be utilised.