New Delhi: Civil aviation authorities are asking India's armed forces to release more air space for civil aviation needs. According to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) chairman, K Ramalingam, the release of air space, so far reserved for military purposes, would help ease traffic congestion in India.
"Right now about 35 per cent of the country's airspace is used for military activities. In Delhi the total military (air) space is 70 per cent. That space can be shared between the civil and military operators," said Ramalingam, at the US-India Aviation Partnership Summit being held in New Delhi.
A working committee, which includes representatives from the Indian Air Force, the ministry of civil aviation and the AAI, is already looking into the matter.
Meanwhile, the AAI has said that it is planning to use high-tech "performance-based navigation (PBN)" to improve air-traffic management in India. PBN systems are already in use in the US and include satellite-based navigation technology that allows aircraft to fly in a pre-meditated manner.
FAA officials attending the US-India aviation summit said that such systems allow aircraft to fly shorter, straighter routes, which ultimately result in lesser fuel costs.
"We had discussed specified key areas in our meeting last year and the use of this (PBN) system was one. We have decided to implement the system but it will take time. All these have to happen in a phased manner," said Ramalingam.
American companies participating in the summit, like Lockheed Martin and Honeywell, have offered advanced info-tech solutions to resolve major air-traffic related problems.