Srinagar Airport: In a first, a night flight by a commercial operator took off from Srinagar airport on Friday. Post-sunset flight operations are starting from the airport and the move is mainly coming together of two factors- technical feasibility and permissions from authorities, according to an IE report.
A test flight landed at Srinagar airport after sunset in August 2018, demonstrating that the airport is safe for night landing. In case of Srinagar, an upgrade of the runway lighting system at the Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport, as well as an extension of watch hours by the Indian Air Force (IAF), kick-started the process.
The Srinagar Airport belongs to the IAF, and the civilian enclave that includes a passenger terminal building and a civil apron is managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). According to the Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce of Jammu & Kashmir, Ranjan Prakash Thakur, the long-pending demand of tour and travel operators has been fulfilled with this move.
Also, as the tourism sector forms the core of Jammu & Kashmir’s economy, it will substantially help in its economic growth, PTI reported.
For night landing of flights, the most significant technical requirement is that the runway approach lighting system includes a series of light bars with strobe lights installed at the runway’s end. This type of system serves a runway that is equipped with an instrument landing system (ILS). A series of navigational aids are used by ILS to help pilots land the aircraft if they cannot establish visual contact with the runway.
Also, it is important for the operators of airports to have lighting along the runway edge so that the pilots who are landing at night are able to make visual contact as well as align the aircraft with the centre of the runway.