Call @ +91 – 9871251590

Category: Uncategorized

Bengaluru international airport runway upgraded for low visibility

The second runway of Kempegowda

international airport here has been upgraded to facilitate smooth operation of even during low visibility.

Inclement weather and foggy conditions will now have minimal impact on the movement of aircraft, the Ltd (BIAL), which operates the airport said in a statement.

The south runway is now category III B compliant and can facilitate aircraft landing with a runway visual range as low as 50 meters and take-offs at 125 metres.

Until now, the permissible visual range was 550 m and 300 m, for landing and take-off, respectively.

According to BIAL, the new landing facility makes the airport the only one in south India and sixth in the country that is CAT IIIB certified.

Flybig, India’s newest airline, to begin operations today: All you need to know

The Indian aviation industry get its newest airline Flybig, in the first week of 2021. The airline begins operations from its Indore base today (January 3), from where the inaugural flight to Ahmedabad will take off at 2.30 in the afternoon. Duration of the inaugural flight is an hour and five minutes.

In the initial couple of weeks, the airline founded by Sanjay Mandavia – a pilot-turned-aviation entrepreneur – will operate thrice a week. “We will later scale up to have five flights a week, from mid-February,” CEO Srinivas Rao told Moneycontrol.

From January 13, Flybig will add the Indore-Raipur route in its network. And from February 1, the airline will begin flying from Ahmedabad to Bhopal. By the end of March this year, the airline will have daily flights connecting all the three tier-2 cities.

Flybig has an ATR aircraft, and is in the process of getting a second one.

“We opened up bookings two days ago. The interest is good and we have seen bookings of 25 percent,” Rao, added. The airline has tied up with over 15,000 agents, many of them in the tier-2 cities. Talks are also on with online travel agencies.

The airline, which organised a ‘special flight’ for a differently abled on December 31 in Jabalpur, will add the city in its network in the second stage.

The launch of the new airline comes even as the domestic air traffic continues to improve, having got a push during the festive season and year-end travel. While the government had hiked the cap, enabling airlines to now use 80 percent of their capacity, the hope is now that this will be eased further.

Some concerns remain. Despite the governments beginning to administer vaccines, a new strain of COVID-19 has again brought back fears, especially for international travel. As a precautionary measure, India has suspended flights to the UK, where the new strain originated, till January 7.

Flybig’s plans

The airline, which had gotten its permit from regulator DGCA on December 14, partly began operations on December 21, when it operated a chartered flight with the aircraft taken on wet lease from SpiceJet. The airline flew from Delhi to Shillong, to coincide with the Meghalaya government’s step to open up the state for tourism as domestic travel recovers gradually from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have won the tender from the state government to operate the Delhi-Shillong flight for three years,” Rao had told Moneycontrol. From January, the company will operate two weekly flights on the route. Eventually, added the senior executive, the company plans to deploy its own aircraft on the route.

The airline will follow a hybrid model, by serving snacks on board, but un-bundling other services. “We don’t want to sell food on-board as the flying time is less. That will prevent us from giving a proper service and could lead to frustration among fliers. Thus we opted to offer snacks as part of the ticket,” he said.

Post the launch, the airline will look to serve tier 3 cities such as Bilaspur and Satna from Bhopal.

 

Air India A320neo Attemped To Take Off From Wrong Runway

An Air India Airbus attempted to take off from the wrong runway in Chennai last month. The Airbus A320-200neo was heading for Delhi, but the pilots began accelerating down the wrong runway. The control tower spotted the error in time, and the take-off was aborted.The incident, which occurred on November 13, 2020, was reported in The Aviation Herald. According to that report, the aircraft was VT-EXM, and it was operating Air India flight AI554. That flight is the scheduled 21:30 departure from Chennai International Airport.According to the report in The Aviation Herald, the Airbus was cleared to depart from runway 25 but instead began rolling down runway 30. The control tower was able to stop the plane in time, aborting the takeoff.India’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has reportedly begun an investigation into the incident. But the Bureau’s website does not provide information on current investigations or incidents.Air India has nearly 30 Airbus A320-200neos. The aircraft in question, VT-EXM, is less than three years old. This is the first known incident involving this aircraft.

The incident adds to the problems facing Air India. Most recently, an Air India Express Boeing 737 overshot the runway at Calicut International Airport in early August. There were 190 onboard, and 21 people died. At the time, India’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, said pilot competence was not an issue.

“We had a very accomplished, experienced, decorated person in command of the aircraft,” the Minister told The Business Standard.

That publication said the Captain of the ill-fated Boeing had 10,000 hours of flying experience on the Boeing 737 aircraft, more than half of that while in charge. The co-pilot had 1,728 hours of flying experience on the 737 aircraft.

Recently, an attempt to establish a judicial probe and a Central Bureau of India investigation into the accident failed at Kerala’s High Court.

While there were no reported injuries with the A320-200neo incident in November, an AAIB investigation suggests it is being taken seriously.

Problems at India’s aviation safety & investigation body?

But the AAIB faces its own in-house problems. When setting up a team to investigate the fatal Air India crash in August, the organization (a division of India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation) sidelined its own people in favor of external experts. Only one person on the five-member panel investigating the Calicut Airport crash is from the AAIB.

This is despite the AAIB reputedly having several dozen in-house experts, including safety personal, pilots, other crew members, and investigators.

But a source with the AAIB told Outlook India in August that the AAIB wasn’t up to the job.

“In the past eight years, we haven’t been able to enrich AAIB with adequate and competent manpower. This is a mockery of aircraft accident investigation in India. It looks like the country doesn’t have a single competent investigator to investigate the Calicut crash.

That source wasn’t prepared to put his or her name to the quote. But even if half right, it flags a possible problem within India’s premier airline accident and incident investigations body. It also suggests we might never really know why the pilots on AI554 in November started to take-off on the wrong runway.

Why drones have raised the odds and risks of small wars

This use of relatively disposable drones has created an offence-defence balance in real-life wars that is more typical of cyberspace, where the attacker has a distinct cost advantage.

Amajor hero of two recent conflicts — in Libya and in Nagorno-Karabakh — isn’t even human. It’s an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, called the Bayraktar TB2 and made by Baykar, a Turkish company in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, Selcuk Bayraktar, serves as the chief technical officer.

In Libya last year, the TB2 scored some successes against a vaunted Russian anti-aircraft system, Pantsir, helping the United Nations-recognized government of Fayez al-Sarraj hold Tripoli against the onslaught of General Khalifa Haftar, who had armed himself with the Pantsirs.

In Nagorno-Karabakh this fall, the same drone was instrumental in unleashing hell on Armenian tanks, artillery and, again, some Russian-made anti-aircraft equipment. It helped bring about Azerbaijan’s decisive victory and a Moscow-brokered peace deal that returned to Azerbaijan most of the territory it lost in a previous war in the 1990s.

That UAVs can play such a visible part in modern wars is a big part of their appeal. As Ulrike Franke of the European Council on Foreign Relations, whose area of expertise includes drone warfare, pointed out in a Twitter thread, “using drones is like having a film crew with you.” The footage filmed by the unmanned aircraft as they attack is often used by governments for propaganda purposes, and it’s far more convincing than the usual conflicting claims by belligerents; independent observers use it to verify the reports.

An even bigger advantage, however, comes from how Turkey and its allies — the al-Sarraj government and the Azerbaijani regime of President Ilham Aliyev — have used drones to upset the offense-defense balance. Whether or not you subscribe to the theory that wars will be fought when the cost of attacking is much lower than the cost of defending, it is both intuitively clear and experimentally proven that losing a drone, or two or three, is less painful, and carries a lower cost, than losing a tank or a manned aircraft. Sending drones into battle is a lot like playing a computer game — and indeed, gamers may make better UAV operators than trained pilots. In both the Libyan and Karabakh wars, the drone operators apparently took a lot of risks to figure out the opposing side’s vulnerabilities, caring relatively little if they lost a UAV or two along the way.

In addition to the relatively costly TB2s — the price tag is several million dollars apiece, not including control centers — Azerbaijan used pretty much anything that could fly, including old Soviet An-2 agricultural planes refitted into UAVs. It also bought kamikaze drones from Israel.

This use of relatively disposable drones has created an offense-defense balance in real-life wars that is more typical of cyberspace, where the attacker has a distinct cost advantage (though some argue that’s mostly because defenders just aren’t nimble enough). Playing whack-a-mole against drones is a lot like chasing hackers.

The shift toward PlayStation reality isn’t necessarily reshaping hypothetical conflicts between major military powers. Superiority in traditional aircraft can still trump the drone advantage. The defense lobby has an interest in continuing to make and sell expensive manned aircraft, and the U.S. and Russia will continue to buy and upgrade them because of the planes’ range and sheer destructive power. But, as Franke pointed out, “for smaller states, which do have air forces, but only have a limited number of aircraft — as is the case for both Armenia and Azerbaijan — drones are quite an important contribution because they boost aerial capabilities.”

Drones, however, can be a nuisance to major powers — just ask Russia. Anyone can build a drone, as Islamist militants proved in Syria when they sent a swarm of basic UAVs against the Russian base in Hmeimim, Syria, in 2018. The attack was thwarted, but it made clear that less protected targets could be hit in a similar fashion.

The rise of the drone has also created a problem for Russia by sowing doubts about its anti-aircraft systems — one of the country’s biggest defense exports. Armenia bet on these products (although perhaps not the best or most modern ones) and lost. After the Pantsir ran into trouble in Libya, the Russian military’s official weekly Zvezda denied the Pantsir’s humiliating vulnerability to the Turkish drones; yet even as it did so, it allowed that the anti-aircraft system has a “blind zone” that an adversary can learn to penetrate.

The Russian propaganda machine has taken pains to reassure the populace, and the Russian defense industry’s clients, that the country has an answer to the UAV threat. Various websites have spread stories about the use of the Krasukha-4 electronic warfare system to help Armenia avoid a total defeat. The Krasukha, first deployed in Syria in 2015, jams radar and GPS signals as well as other electronic communications. Theoretically, it can render drones helpless. Whether it was really used in the Karabakh war was never officially confirmed; General Movses Hakobyan, a top Armenian military official who resigned after the defeat, said Armenia managed to thwart the Bayraktar TB2 for four days when given the use of a different, newer Russian electronic warfare system, Pole-21, first received by the Russian military last year.

But while Russia has emphasized developing its capacity for such electronic warfare, its effectiveness against tactics pioneered by Turkey and its allies is unclear. Jamming, for instance, could devolve into just another game of whack-a-mole.

Ukrainians, for one, see some potential in using drones against Russia-backed forces. Last year, Ukraine signed a $69 million deal with Baykar to buy six TB2s, control equipment and ammunition. Ukraine is now reportedly working with the Turkish company to launch local production. The example of Azerbaijan’s successful attack on Karabakh is inspiring to Ukrainian leaders, who haven’t given up on reclaiming the country’s east, now controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Russia, however, isn’t the only major military power that should worry about the proliferation of drones. Any country or military bloc that conducts overseas operations and gets involved in local conflicts will likely have to deal with the growing threat. According to a study by Michael Horowitz of the University of Pennsylvania and his collaborators, of the 22 countries that possess armed drones now, 19 have acquired them since 2010, and 14 since 2014, most of them thanks to the “supply shock” of China’s 2011 entry into the market. More than 20 other countries are pursuing the capability, Horowitz found. It is, among other things, a pursuit of status: Drones are synonymous with technological innovation.

Intervention in the deadly computer games of tomorrow could be fraught with embarrassment, or worse, for the big players. And, if the offense-defense balance theory is correct, such interventions will be called for more frequently: Going on the attack is no longer as scary or as expensive as it used to be.- Bloomberg

In addition to the relatively costly TB2s — the price tag is several million dollars apiece, not including control centers — Azerbaijan used pretty much anything that could fly, including old Soviet An-2 agricultural planes refitted into UAVs. It also bought kamikaze drones from Israel.

This use of relatively disposable drones has created an offense-defense balance in real-life wars that is more typical of cyberspace, where the attacker has a distinct cost advantage (though some argue that’s mostly because defenders just aren’t nimble enough). Playing whack-a-mole against drones is a lot like chasing hackers.

 

How India plans to manage its growing drone air traffic in the years to come

The Ministry of Civil Aviation released a draft policy Tuesday to develop an air traffic management system for civilian drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

The draft policy, called UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Ecosystem, mainly applies to drones flying 1,000 feet above ground level in uncontrolled airspaces.

It is expected to coordinate drone flight paths, manage traffic and provide weather and terrain data as an “extension of the current Air Traffic Management (ATM) Services”.

“Drones will soon need to fly alongside manned aircrafts and high levels of aviation safety should be maintained in such scenarios,” Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation Amber Dubey told ThePrint.

In June, the government had issued the Draft Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2020, which if passed, will replace the existing Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) enacted in 2018.

Unlike CAR, the Draft UAS Rules are more exhaustive and make a clear distinction between drone regulations and other regulations that apply to conventional manned aviation.

What are drones and who can fly them

A drone is an aerial device that can navigate without a human on board or beyond line of sight. In India, drones are used for entertainment and recreational purposes, wedding photography and research but cannot be flown in ‘No Fly Zones’ such as areas near airports, international borders, State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals, strategic locations, etc.

There are three kinds of drones — Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAs) piloted from a remote pilot station, Model Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems used for educational or experimental purposes only within visual line of sight and Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft System that does not require pilot intervention.

Based on weight, ‘nano’ drones are less than or equal to 250gm, ‘micro’ drones are between 250gm-2kg, ‘small’ drones are between 2-25kg, ‘medium’ drones are between 25-150kg and ‘large’ drones are greater than 150kg.

Nano drones are usually the size of a human hand and are flown indoors.

SpiceJet Flight Makes Emergency Landing at Patna Airport due to Engine Fault

SpiceJet flight scheduled to fly from Patna to Amritsar had to make an emergency landing due to a technical error in the plane’s engine. As per a report, the SpiceJet flight SG 3723 had taken off from Patna airport at 11.30 AM on Sunday and had developed the engine issue. The pilot tried to complete the flight and have the plane checked after arriving in Amritsar, but as the plane was unable to achieve the required altitude, the pilot contacted the ATC for an emergency landing back at Patna airport.

Once the plane had landed back in Patna, the 65 passengers that were on board that flight were made to wait at the airport. Meanwhile, SpiceJet called for engineers to get the plane fixed and, as per the report, the engineers reached the spot three hours later and took an additional couple of hours to get the plane fixed once again.

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi inks training pact with Drone Destination

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi inks training pact with Drone Destination. 

Government-run premier flying training institute, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) has inked an initial pact with Drone Destination to launch drone pilot training courses for aspirant professionals at the former”s Amethi campus in Uttar Pradesh.

Drone Destination is a sister-concern of the Delhi-based remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) manufacturing firm Hubblefly Technologies. 

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the institute will provide its state-of-the-art infrastructure and Drone Destination its domain expertise in training drone pilots at the campus. 

IGRUA has always addressed the growing demand and the rapid technological transformation of the Indian aviation sector. As a part of its expansion program, it has partnered with Drone Destination to jointly launch drone pilot training courses, said a release on Thursday. 

“This MoU enables both the organisations to provide the best drone training to aspiring drone professionals using IGRUA”s state of the art infrastructure and Drone Destination”s expertise in providing high quality, professional drone training,” said Krishnendu Gupta, Director, IGRUA. 

Drone Destination aims to develop an integrated eco-system for RPAs right from manufacturing to training, services insurance, leasing and finance, as per the release.

Boeing 737 MAX plane: European aviation regulator declares aircraft safe to fly

In a major respite to American aerospace company Boeing, Europe’s top aviation regulator has declared its 737 MAX aircraft safe enough to return to skies. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is satisfied with the changes made to Boeing Co.’s 737 Max plane and said that it is safe enough to return to the region’s skies before 2020 is out, Bloomberg reported. This major announcement came even as some of the further upgrades, demanded by the agency would not ready for up to two years. In December 2019, Boeing had announced the suspension of 737 MAX production starting in January this year due to certification moving into 2020. 

EASA’s executive director Patrick Ky said that the agency is reviewing final document ahead of a draft airworthiness directive it expects to issue next month. It has already conducted test flights in September this year, as per the report. 

Ky further stated that the development of synthetic sensor to add redundancy will take 20 to 24 months. The EASA has made the sensor compulsory for the larger 737 Max 10 variant before its planned debut in 2022. Following this, this software-based solution would have to be retrofitted onto other versions too. 

In the wake of two fatal accidents involving 737 MAX planes, aviation regulators across the globe, in 2019, imposed a ban on flying these fuel-efficient aircraft. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also ordered grounding of these planes in India. 

In India, low-cost carrier SpiceJet is the only company which has MAX aircraft in its fleet. The budget airline grounded 13 737 MAX planes in March last year.

 

 

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi inks training pact with Drone Destination  

 

Mumbai: Government-run premier flying training institute, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) has inked an initial pact with Drone Destination to launch drone pilot training courses for aspirant professionals at the former”s Amethi campus in Uttar Pradesh.Drone Destination is a sister-concern of the Delhi-based remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) manufacturing firm Hubblefly Technologies.Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the institute will provide its state-of-the-art infrastructure and Drone Destination its domain expertise in training drone pilots at the campus. 

IGRUA has always addressed the growing demand and the rapid technological transformation of the Indian aviation sector. As a part of its expansion program, it has partnered with Drone Destination to jointly launch drone pilot training courses, said a release on Thursday. “This MoU enables both the organisations to provide the best drone training to aspiring drone professionals using IGRUA”s state of the art infrastructure and Drone Destination”s expertise in providing high quality, professional drone training,” said Krishnendu Gupta, Director, IGRUA. 

Drone Destination aims to develop an integrated eco-system for RPAs right from manufacturing to training, services insurance, leasing and finance, as per the release.

 

Drone and Cyber Attacks at Airports by our Adversaries cannot be ruled out. Concerned Agencies Need to Act and be alert and vigilant.

It is reported that India’s Airport Security is unprepared for dangerous enemies in the sky. In the age when drones across the border can unleash terror, India’s Airport security is not equipped. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security had issued an order earlier for a time-bound deployment of drone interception technology at all the airports across the country. After nine months, not a single airport in India is equipped with the technology. In the year 2019, an on Annual Anti-Terror Conference of the National Investigation Agency with all the stakeholders including the law enforcement agencies of states, the issue of criminal drones, or the drones that can be deployed for any kind of criminal activity was discussed.

Our Civil Airports are a soft target and attacks using Drones is a serious threat. China is almost a Drone Super Power and can indulge in some kind of Drone attacks or interference through Drones in connivance with Pakistan. Hence, it is essential that immediate steps are taken to neutralise such threats before they reach anywhere close to striking distance.

Another Major threat which is looming large is the Cyber Attack on the communication and Navigation system at the airports by our adversaries or rogue elements. We are hopeful  that this threat has been analysed and appreciated by Cyber Security Agencies of the country  and they must be working overtime to face this challenge.