The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has acquired eight trailer-mounted towers at a cost of Rs 64.6 crore from a Slovak company. These are being used at small airports for regional connectivity scheme (RCS) flights.Guruprasad Mohapatra, AAI Chairman was quoted in a ToI report saying that with the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN or the subsidised regional flying scheme where fares are capped at Rs 2,500 per hour of flying), they will see a number of small airports getting one or two flights a day. In the past, AAI has used mobile ATC towers but now they are doing it in a systematic manner given the demand for RCS flights.
The air-traffic mobile towers have been purchased from MSM Martin Company Slovakia, Slovak Republic. The first eight which have been acquired, will be used in Bilaspur, Ambikapur, Jagdalpur, Jeypore, Utkela, Vellore, Bokaro and Mithapur (Gujarat). An AAI official was quoted in the report saying that mobile ATC towers have been developed keeping the ATC requirements of India in mind. Technically, these mobile towers are of brilliant quality and allow operations in any airport in India. These air-traffic controllers are of immense importance as they apply separation rules to the aircraft that they direct. Separation rules are used to supervise the distance between airplanes and aircraft by requiring a minimum distance between them. These operations of these towers increase safety and reduce unnecessary risk for pilots and passengers.
Earlier it was reported that AAI had prepared the specifications for remote air traffic control towers and open tendering process to select entities for setting up the facilities to start. Against this backdrop, the national airports operator had been exploring the possibility of remote towers for ATC services. The towers concentrate ATC at one central location instead of having resources at each single airport, thus opening up a wide field of possible synergies and savings. Earlier the airports had manned towers to provide ATC services. With those towers, there would be a video-based surveillance for such services.