Belagavi: To meet the growing demand at Belagavi Airport, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has recently introduced a Category-I (CAT I) Instrument Landing System (ILS) on its Runway (08/26). This significant upgrade, costing Rs. 12.38 Crores, was completed on October 5, 2023.
The ILS installation on Runway 26 will enable aircraft to land in adverse weather conditions and during nighttime.
What is Instrument Landing System (ILS)?
An Instrument Landing System (ILS) is a precise radio navigation tool that provides short-range guidance to aircraft, allowing them to safely approach a runway, especially when visibility is poor or weather conditions are unfavorable.
Key components of an ILS include:
- Localizer (LLZ): This component provides lateral guidance, ensuring that the aircraft is aligned with the runway centerline.
- Glide Slope (GS): The glide slope provides vertical guidance, assisting the aircraft in maintaining the correct descent path for a safe landing.
- Marker Beacons: These are used to indicate specific positions along the glide path, helping the pilot verify their altitude and distance from the runway.
- DME (Distance Measuring Equipment): DME provides distance information to the aircraft, allowing the pilot to determine their proximity to the runway.
ILS operates by transmitting radio signals that are received by the aircraft’s instruments. The pilot uses these signals to ensure proper alignment with the runway and to maintain the correct descent profile. If the aircraft deviates from the correct path, the pilot can make real-time adjustments to ensure a safe landing.
ILS is vital for safe and efficient landings, especially in adverse weather conditions such as heavy fog, rain, or low visibility. It enables pilots to perform Category I, II, or III precision approaches, which vary in their levels of precision and are often required for safe landings at airports around the world.
Belagavi Airport equipped with Category -1 Instrument Landing System (ILS)
The new ILS facility at Belagavi Airport features a 16-element Localizer antenna system, which will facilitate accurate approaches for all incoming aircraft, regardless of the weather.
The ILS operates by using two radio beams to provide both vertical and horizontal guidance to pilots during the landing approach. The localizer (LOC) offers azimuth guidance, ensuring the aircraft is correctly aligned with the runway. And the glidepath (GP) defines the optimal vertical descent profile for a safe landing.
A brief about Category – 1 Instrument Landing system
Category I (CAT I) Instrument Landing System (ILS) is one of the three defined categories of ILS approaches, each offering different levels of precision and minimum weather conditions for safe landings. CAT I is the least precise of the three categories, but it still provides a considerable level of guidance and safety.
Key features of a Category I ILS approach include:
- Decision Height (DH): In a CAT I ILS approach, the pilot must make a decision whether to continue the landing or execute a missed approach when the aircraft reaches the decision height. The decision height is typically set at a minimum of 200 feet above the ground and may vary slightly depending on the specific ILS system and airport procedures.
- Runway Visual Range (RVR): For a CAT I ILS approach, the minimum RVR required is typically 550 meters (approximately 1,800 feet) or more, which means that the pilot must have visibility of the runway and its approach lights when the aircraft reaches the decision height.
- Lateral and Vertical Guidance: The CAT I ILS provides both lateral (localizer) and vertical (glide slope) guidance to the pilot, assisting in maintaining the correct alignment with the runway centerline and the proper descent path.
Category I ILS approaches are commonly used at airports where visibility and weather conditions are relatively favorable, and there is still adequate safety margin for landing.
For lower visibility and more challenging conditions, Category II (CAT II) and Category III (CAT III) ILS approaches, with lower decision heights and reduced RVR requirements, offer higher levels of precision and safety. These higher categories are used when airports need to remain operational in adverse weather conditions.
Successful trial Run of CAT -1 ILS in Belagavi Airport
The successful trial run of the newly installed ILS took place on July 31, 2023, with an A320 flight bound for Hyderabad operated by Indigo Airlines.
This system permits aircraft to approach the runway until they are just 200 feet (61 meters) above the ground, making it particularly valuable for pilots operating at airports like Belagavi.
This achievement marks a significant enhancement in the safety and reliability of Belagavi Airport, ultimately benefiting both passengers and aviation professionals.