A disabled aircraft recovery kit has been installed at the city airport to clear the runway early in the event of an emergency, said its operator on Tuesday.
“The disabled aircraft recovery kit will enable faster resumption of operations in the event of an incident on the runway of our Kempegowda international airport,” said operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) in a statement here.
Touted to be the first of its kind in India and South Asia, the hi-tech equipment was manufactured by Kunz GmbH of Germany.
“The transportable kit will ensure the runway closure is minimal in the event an incident, as a disabled aircraft on the runway can disrupt airport operations, delay or divert flights,” said BIAL chief executive Hari Marar on the occasion.
As part of the deal, signed in 2020, Kunz will maintain the kit and set up a centre for disabled aircraft recovery training at the Devanahalli airport, about 40km north of this tech city.
“The equipment is also capable of recovering even the largest passenger aircraft Airbus A380 during an emergency on the runway,” said the statement.
The operator will form a quick response recovery team for handling emergency situation on the airport’s runway.
“The recovery kit has ground preparation tools, aircraft lifting, de-bogging, tethering and towing narrow and wide-body jets when disabled,” the operator added.
Kunz managing director Andreas Fuge and Millennium Aero Dynamics Ltd chairman Milan R Zatakia were present at the commissioning of the kit at the airport.
Domestic flight operations resumed partially on May 25, 2020 at the country’s third largest airport after the extended Covid-induced lockdown was lifted and frequency was increased gradually, as per the standard operating procedures of the Union Home Ministry and guidelines of the Union Health Ministry to contain the virus spread.
“With average 270 flights daily, about 30,000 passengers were flown to non-metro cities from the city airport in January,” said the consortium’s operator.
Private airlines and state-run Air India were operating to 58 cities across the country before the pandemic forced the government to suspend all domestic flights from March 23 to May 25.
In calendar year 2019, a record 33.65 million passengers transited from the airport, registering 4 per cent annual growth from 32.33 million in 2018.