The new Air Traffic Control tower at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here will be fully operational by March next year, according to a senior Airport Authority of India (AAI) official. However, partial or parallel operations-- where both new and the old ATC towers conduct simultaneous operations-- are likely to start early next year, AAI sources said. "Operations are shifted from one tower to another in three phases, i. E.
Shadow operations, by parallel operations and finally, complete switch-over to the new ATC tower. The switch-over should be complete by March," the official said. Shadow operations is a trial phase where the functions carried out at the new ATC are monitored by the old ATC and the latter takes over incase of an urgent need. At 102 meter, the new ATC tower is among the tallest in the world. Officials also said that merely having a new tower may not ease traffic congestion at the Delhi airport and other infrastructure needs to be enhanced alongside, such as roads leading to the airport, the public transport system, the capacity of the terminal building, among others. The Delhi airport is unable to accommodate additional flights due to high air traffic congestion. The airport sees 67 air traffic movements (departures and arrivals) per hour, which often goes upto 72 during peak hours.
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