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ILS antennae restoration work under way at Tiruchi airport

A technical team installing new ILS antennae at the airport in Tiruchi on Wednesday.M. Moorthy

Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken up restoration of ILS (Instrument Landing System) localiser antennae at Tiruchi international airport.

Some of the antennae suffered extensive damage recently when a Dubai-bound Air India Express flight came into contact with them and a portion of the perimeter wall during take off in the early hours.

The restoration work is being carried out in Runway-27 end area after obtaining clearance from an official of Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), who inspected the spot and conducted a two-day inquiry on the Air India Express incident.

An AAI technical experts’ team from New Delhi is carrying out the restoration work, a senior official toldThe Hinduon Wednesday. The damaged antennae were removed and replaced with new ones dispatched from Lucknow.

Five antennae, along with the control unit had been installed and final adjustments would be made thereafter. The installation works had almost reached the final stage, the official said.

Once the installation works were over, a team from AAI’s Flight Inspection Unit would carry out flight calibration and ground tests. The entire ILS system was expected to be become operational either by month-end or November first week, the official added.

Alternative system

In the absence of the ILS, all aircrafts are being guided through an alternative system of Doppler Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Radio range at the airport.

The international airport has daily overseas flights to Colombo, Singapore, Dubai, Sharjah and Kuala Lumpur operated by different airlines, besides domestic operations to Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.

The undercarriage of the Dubai-bound Boeing 737-800 Air India Express with 136 passengers on board hit the antennae and a portion of the perimeter wall while take off from Runway 27 adjoining Tiruchi-Pudukottai national highway a fortnight ago.

After flying for over three hours, the pilot was asked to divert to Mumbai and the flight landed safely.


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