Delhi's Air Traffic Services on a New High


October 2019

At 102 metres, the state-of-the-art ATC tower at Delhi's Air Traffic Services Complex is not only the tallest such structure in the country but also among the tallest in the world. For the first time in India, tuned mass damper technology has been used in the tower to make it resistant to earthquakes or high-velocity winds. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge)for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri,dedicated the Delhi Air Traffic Services (DATS) Complex of Airports Authority ofIndia (AAI) to the nation in September.

The new complex comprises three buildings, viz.aerodrome control tower, area & approach control services building and the administrative block constructed at the cost of approximately Rs 2.5 billion and Rs 1 billion for equipment. Most modern air navigation systems and advanced ATC automation systems have been installed to enhance safety and operational capacity.

PANORAMIC VIEW FOR IMPROVED DECISION MAKING
At 102 metres, the ATC tower at DATS is not only the tallest such structure in the country but is also among the tallest in the world. The control tower provides a panoramic view of a large operational area, including the runways, taxiways and parking stands for real-time awareness of aircraft movements to air traffic controllers.

The tower provides better visibility and affords controllers with a panoramic view of the operational area to maintain surveillance on all the three runways, apron area and taxiways. With better visual observations, controllers can take better operational decisions. The tower also flaunts additional control positions and much advanced systems that enable a reduction in the number of flights handled by a single controller, thereby increasing their efficacy.

The upgraded equipment and systems have helped in enhancing the safety and efficiency of air traffic management services at New Delhi's Indira GandhiInternational (IGI) Airport. The control tower has additional 21 controller positions at level 26 and 12 ground controller positions at level 25. This further helps controllers divide the air space into multiple sectors. Extra division of air space will reduce the number of flights handled by one controller per hour, thereby enabling the existing air space to accommodate the anticipated increase in air traffic in the future.

VIBRATION RESISTANT TECHNOLOGY
Considering the damage that a natural catastrophe can cause, for the first time in India tuned mass damper technology has been implemented in the tower to make it resistant to earthquakes or high-velocity winds.

The 50-tonne tuned mass damper will prevent any extra sways during earthquakes or robust winds. The damper works like a pendulum, which during strong vibrations, will sway in the opposite direction to which the building is moving, thereby producing a counterbalance and stabilising force. The damper is supported by suspension rods on four sides so that it doesn't sway on its own when there is no vibration.

Presently, the Delhi air traffic control handles an average of more than one flight operation every minute throughout the day. At least 1,200 landings and take-offs happen every day from the airport along with overflying traffic of at least 250 planes. Over 40,000 movements are handled in a month. Plans are already afoot to expand the airport's capacity. Thus, the new air traffic services complex is future-ready for the major developments planned at the country's busiest airport, which include a fourth runway and several new parking stands or taxiways.

Delhi's Air Traffic Services on a New High At 102 metres, the state-of-the-art ATC tower at Delhi's Air Traffic Services Complex is not only the tallest such structure in the country but also among the tallest in the world. For the first time in India, tuned mass damper technology has been used in the tower to make it resistant to earthquakes or high-velocity winds.

(Communication by the management of the company)

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