Sri Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport, Amritsar, the only airport in Punjab which is at present operating international flights, is being upgraded and will soon have more state of the art facilities. The work for installation of CAT III-B instrument landing system (ILS) has already been started at the Airport which is likely to be operational by the winter of 2016. Besides, there is also a proposal to upgrade instrument landing system from 12 elements to 16 elements, which is expected to increase the sensitivity and precision for landing of flights. The runway of the airport is being increased and the work for upgrading the pavement classification number (PCN) from 64 to 71 is also under way, which would facilitate air crafts to land at airport with full load. PCN is an international civil aviation organization standard used along with combination with the aircraft classification number to indicate the strength of a runway, taxiway or airport apron. It enables to find out if the airport ramp is exposed to excessive damage and thus helps in prolonging airport’s life.
The installation of Rs 100-crore highly-sophisticated CAT III-B ILS, would help air crafts to land even in zero visibility. According to Airport director Gagan Malik apart from a major passenger facilitation step, CAT III-B ILS would be an additional attraction for the airline operators. “Once this becomes operational, passengers will not have to worry about landing and diversions in foggy conditions,” he said. At present Airlines like Qatar Airways, Air India, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan airlines, Jet Airways are operating from here to places like Tashkent, Doha, Dubai, Asghabat and Delhi.
CAT III-B is a higher advanced system having various components, including surface movement radar. The aircraft which can not be seen in fog from ground can be brought to their docking position even in zero visibility with the help of radar and inset lights. Presently, the Amritsar airport has CAT II ILS which has capability to facilitate landing of planes to land up to visibility of 350 m.
Other features of Airport
The airport has an integrated terminal building with an annual capacity of 1.46 million passengers. It has a peak hour capacity of 1,200 passengers. The building has 30 check-in counters, 4 X-ray scanners for baggage and 10 custom counters. It also has as many as 12 security check booths, 26 immigration Counters and 4 conveyor belts for arrivals.Besides the departure and arrival halls have duty-free shops, foreign currency exchange service, book store, restaurants and a few other shops.
About Amritsar International airport
This is the only airport in Punjab which operates domestic as well as international flights and is one of the fastest growing airports in India. Named after Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru and the founder of Amritsar city, the airport is about 11 kms from the main city centre, at the Amritsar-Ajnala Road.