Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, today inaugurated the new Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. At 84 metres, it is the tallest ATC tower in India, a record that it will hold for a brief period till the 102 metre tower of Indira Gandhi International Airport is commissioned in Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said modernization of airports as well as aircraft navigation services infrastructure have propelled Indian aviation sector on a higher growth path. He said, Airports Authority of India has done a remarkable job in modernizing navigation infrastructure, which is crucial for enhancing safety, efficiency and capacity of airspace in the country.
Mr Ajit Singh informed that India has become one of the four countries in the world to develop a satellite based augmentation system, giving improved positional accuracy of aircraft movement. He said the indigenously developed GAGAN satellite based navigational system, built by ISRO in collaboration with Airports Authority of India is undergoing certification process and will become operational shortly. The GAGAN footprint extends to the entire Asia-Pacific region and covers a good part of Africa and Australia.
Describing aviation as the branch of engineering that is least forgiving of mistakes, Mr Ajit Singh stessed on increased importance being placed on safety in the civil aviation sector.
Mumbai ATC Tower :
Mumbai’s new ATC Tower offers 5 miles clear visibility for controllers and enables unobstructed view of the entire operational area of the airport. It is equipped with latest technology including electronic flight strips which will reduce the work load of controllers and improve operational efficiency.
The ATC tower built by GVK based on architectural design by HOK, Hong Kong, has already become a new iconic structure off Mumbai’s Western Express Highway.
Mumbai ATC everyday handles approximately 750 landings and take-offs, besides controlling 960 other flights including international overflying traffic.