Last Updated: July 17 2021

In an effort to make the Jharsuguda airport operational during all-weather conditions, on Thursday the all-weather instrument landing system (ILS) has been commissioned at the Jharsuguda airport in Odisha.

The ILS is a precision-based approach aid that provides pilots with both vertical and horizontal guidance during landing. It comprises of 3 basic components:

1. the localizer for azimuth guidance to align the aircraft to the extended runway central line,

2. the glide path antenna that helps the aircraft to approach the runway at a desired angle (generally 3 degree glide slope) and

3. DME or Marker beacons that allow the pilots to identify the distance of the aircraft from the aiming point (point at which the wheels of the aircraft ideally touch the runway).

The system uses radio signals to provide necessary guidance to the pilots while they approach for landing even during rain, low clouds, and smog.

Earlier, the flights landed under Doppler Very High-Frequency Omni Range (DVOR) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) procedure.

At least 1,500 meter visibility for small aircraft and 2,100 visibility for big planes is required to make landing under DVOR procedure. However, now the planes will be able to land at VSS airport at the visibility of 800 meter.

Though this airport was meant for only Visual Flight Rules operation, later it had been observed that the city witnessed low visibility and bad weather during most of the year. This caused delay and cancellation of the scheduled flights. Thus, the installation of ILS.

The Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda district has been developed by the Airports Authority of India in collaboration with the Odisha government at an estimated cost of Rs 210 crore, with a Rs 75 crore contribution from the state.

The airport has been developed under the Centre’s UDAN scheme.

Spread across over 1,027.5 acres of land with a 2,390 -meter-long runway, the area of the terminal building of the airport is 4,000 sqm.

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