No scare over landing of Cameron`s aircraft in Delhi: Patel
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 22:03
New Delhi: There was no scare or safety concern over the landing of British Prime Minister's aircraft at Delhi's IGI Airport last week due to a radar glitch and there was no disruption of any flight, Government said today.

Replying to a calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said Premier David Cameron's aircraft was also "landed on Runway 11 at time 1756 IST without any delay".

To members' queries on reports about delay in landing of the Boeing 747 carrying the British delegation last Wednesday, he said "nothing of that sort happened".

The members had raised questions on the basis of media reports that Cameron's flight faced problems while landing at Delhi and was delayed.

The British VIP aircraft and all other arrivals and departures in Delhi were "constantly monitored simultaneously on Auto Trac-2 (computer system of Air Traffic Control) as well as the Auto Trac-3 system and there was no impact on the ATC operations at any stage on that day. Both are parallel systems".

"Contrary to media reports, there was no safety concern or scare," Patel said, adding that the Auto Trac-2 system was all along maintained as "a hot stand-by", meaning it was simultaneously operational along with the Auto Trac-3 system as an emergency backup.

He asserted that there was "no disruption of incoming or outgoing flights" as the Auto Trac-3 system, an upgrade to existing Auto Trac-2 system, was under validation process at the Delhi airport.

At 1750 hours on July 28, a "software glitch" in the Auto Trac-3 system led to the failure of the display units of some display units of the ATC control tower. However, the display units of Auto Trac-2 were operating normally, he said.

The pilot of the VIP aircraft reported on the Instrument Landing System and subsequently changed over to tower control, Patel added.

Describing the Mangalore air crash as a "blemish" on the safety record of India maintained for the last ten years, Patel said "it is important to learn from the mistakes".

The Minister allayed members' apprehensions about safety at unlicensed airports, saying all international regulations were being complied with while constructing the airports.

Patel also denied reports of near-misses saying "no air proximity incident has taken place in the last few years".


First Published: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 22:03

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