India Current Affairs [Gov. & Politics]
An Air India Express Flight on special “Vande Bharat” Mission overshot the runway at Kozhikode and fell into a valley. The flight carried passengers from Dubai to Kozhikode. Similar accidents have occurred in India earlier as well. In 2010, similar incident occurred in Mangalore airport where more than 150 people lost their lives.
The Tabletop Airport is an airport that is built on top of hilly surfaces or plateau. The runways in these airports have one or both ends overlooking a drop. The tabletop airports in India inlucde Shimla and Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Lengpui (Mizoram), Pakyong (Sikkim), Kozhikode and Kannur (Kerala) and Mangaluru (Karnataka).
The other Tabletop airports outside India include Kathmandu in Nepal and Paro in Bhutan.
What is the issue?
The Tabletop airports require precision approach with little to no room errors. These airports are not suited for landing wide bodied aircrafts as they require longer distances to slow down. For instance, the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) had banned wide-bodies aircrafts from landing at Kozhikode airport.
Steps to improve safety
The following steps are essential to improve safety of tabletop airports
- The runways should meet required Navigation Performance approach
- Safety features such as RESA (Runway End Safety Area) should be made mandatory
- The aircraft over run is mainly caused due to lack of friction. The table top airports are located at higher altitudes where rainfall and humid weather is common. This reduces the friction between the wheels of the aircrafts and the runway leading to insufficient braking. In order to overcome such problems, ground arresting systems for aircrafts can be used.
- Technical upgrades such making the runways of table top airports enabled with Instrument Landing System.
- Appropriate Crew Source Management Training should be strictly enforced.
Runway End Safety Area
RESA is an area at the end of the runway intended to reduce the risk of damage to an aircraft
Tags: Aircraft • Airport • Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) • tabletop airports • vande bharat mission
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Irritants between India and Bangladesh
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Teesta River sharing
The West Bengal State Government refused to endorse water sharing terms agreed in 2015. This has created the current impasse. The lack of water to 100,000 hectares of land in Bangladesh because of this has led to contamination of soil and has increased cost of pesticides.
The bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh was over 9 billion USD in 2017-18. The Bangladeshi exports increased by 91% and reached 1.25 billion USD in 2018-19. Also, in 2018, Bangladesh imported 660 MW of power. A 1,600 MW of power station is to be developed to boost power trade between the countries.