High rise buildings near funnel area may hit development of city airport

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Jun 2018 10:26:01


Staff Reporter,

Non-application of mind by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) in sanctioning high rise buildings near funnel area of Nagpur’s Dr Babasaheb International Airport has now emerged as the biggest threat to its development and very survival as an important airport. Due to such sanctions, the MIHAN India Limited (MIL), that manages the airport, has even mooted a proposal to reduce the length of runway that will disallow landing of big aircraft.

This will practically shatter dreams of making Nagpur airport as a truly international destination of aircraft and make it a hub for international aircraft for maintenance and repairs. This alarming development caught everybody unawares a few months ago when tenders were floated for development of second runway and construction of international airport, while ignoring this grim ground reality.

Whenever any construction is taken up within the 20 km radius of any airport, No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Airport Authority of India (AAI) is a must.
Now, as per the information provided by R K Singla, General Manager, Air Traffic Management-NOC, AAI, a new system NOCOS- Aerodrome Safeguarding Automation System has been introduced. This system is for accepting on-line applications for heigh clearance of the build environment around the airports and also to calculate the permitted safe heights as per the prescribed rules.

If any building violates the rule of height, then on request
of AAI, the civic bodies can demolish the violated part under the Demolition (Demolition of building, structures and tree) rule, 1994.
In Nagpur, there are 10 buildings mostly in Jaitala that have violated the height rule for which MIL has made representations to NMC for 4-5 times but no action has been taken yet.

According to Sr. Airport Manager of MIL V M Mulekar, the height obstruction is making pilots of the aircraft everytime hear Ground Proximity Warning leading to confusion during flying.

“We are fed up with the civic authorities for not taking action against the buildings and no choice is left with us than to reduce runway by 560 meters. This will disallow major aircraft like Airbus 320. This will hamper the growth of Nagpur and also the chances of becoming international airport,” said Mulekar.Mulekar pointed out, “There is one building coming towards Chinchbhuvan that would prove to be the obstacle to the landing and taking off the aircraft. All other buildings are erected towards Jaitala area. So we have to do the landing from Khapri. This has increased the burden of fuel expenditure.”

Airport Director of AAI Roshan Kamble said, “The time too gets consumedre is an increase of 12 minutes for the aircraft to land due to the biggest round from Khapri area.”
Mulekar told mediapersons that when MIL approached NMC in 2017, it clearly said that taking action was not civic bodies’ job. It should be looked after by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

When contacted Ashwin Mudgal, the then Nagpur Municipal Commissioner (now Collector and NIT Chairman) denied the allegation of MIL and AAI. He told ‘The Hitavada’, “It is upto the AAI to grant NOC. Once they give NOC, we have no right to stop the permission to the builder.” Mudgal said, “Under Demolition Rule 1994, no building or structure shall be constructed or erected, or no tree shall be planted on any land with such radius, not exceding 20 kms from aerodrome reference point. Even the planting of trees that would grow too need permission of AAI. In that case how would NMC stop builders in doing construction after the NOC.”