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Blog Entry# 2066595  
Posted: Nov 21 2016 (08:47)

1 Responses
Last Response: Nov 21 2016 (08:47)
Rail News
Commentary/Human Interest
Nov 21 2016 (07:21)   When rail lines, not radar, guided pilots

rdb*^   131664 news posts
Entry# 2066595   News Entry# 286245         Tags   Past Edits
Thirty years ago, flying out of the Chennai air port which had limited passenger amenities might not have been a pleasant experience for travellers as it is today, but the pilots enjoyed it. With hardly a few flights landing and taking off, pilots had the skies to themselves. But a growing economy spurred the demand for flights and crowded the skies.
Today, more than 30 flights dot the Chennai airspace at any given point of time. There are several aircraft flying at 36,000 feet oblivious of the traffic underneath. A look at flight tracking websites shows how crowded the airspace has become. India stands fifth in terms of busiest airspace after US, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
pilots who flew in the 70s and 80s say planes flew farther from one another. Aircraft flew lower than what they do now as most pilots depended on their eyesight. Also, flights homed in on signals from radio equipment located on the ground to stick to air routes.Pilots sometimes looked for railway lines and rivers as reference points. "There were hardly any flights when I started in the 70s. The sky was light and we hardly came across other planes en route. As radar coverage was less, planes approaching an airport were separated at a distance of 15 miles. In the 80s also we considered it lucky if we come across 10 flights on busiest Mumbai-Delhi route," said former pilot Captain Ranganathan.
Flight density picked up in early 2000 when private carriers stepped in. Air routes have now become like busy multi-tier highways with aircraft flying at different altitudes, spaced at 2,000 feet vertically and laterally . In a highly automated scenario, a pilot merely manages an aircraft these days, overriding the onboard computer occasionally when needed. This has helped accommodate more planes in the sky .
"I feel the density of flights on air during RT (radio telephony). The moment one pilot completes a conversation, another will call in with his flight number," a pilot with a private airline said. "We have to be on high alert and cannot miss a communication from the air traffic control. It is easy to miss but if two RTs are missed, the controller will file a report. The checks that we run have also gone up," he said. The pilot said a minor deviation from the route, especially over the ocean due to weather turbulence, will affect other flights and will cause a slow down.

Nov 21 2016 (08:47)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1933 blog posts
Re# 2066595-1            Tags   Past Edits
Point to be noted:
"Flight density picked up in early 2000 when private carriers stepped in"

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