Prelims Level
Mains Level

GS 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

Why in news?

  • Authority of India (AAI) has inked an agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to develop a roadmap for modernisation of its air traffic services. Air traffic services (ATS) comprises air traffic management (ATM) and communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS).

Key- Highlights:

  • The collaboration is aimed at developing CNS/ATM roadmap for the AAI for modernisation of the national airspace system (NAS).
  • Under the agreement, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing will provide technical assistance, thus create a roadmap to enhance communications, expand existing systems and airspace capacity and invest in CNS/ATM facilities.
  • It will help in improving safety and reducing congestion for flights in India.
  • At the same time, it will create market access for high quality US exports that can advance India’s aviation goals.

Significance of this pact:

  • This initiative will upgrade network operations, enhance security, and improve the performance, reliability and quality of India’s air traffic management communications network, while reducing the telecommunication costs.
  • This communication backbone infrastructure will also play a pivotal role in deployment of remote towers for managing air traffic services at Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) airports.
  • In the long run the implementation of Futuristic Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) network would result in enhanced air traffic safety, increase in airspace capacity by allowing the controllers to reduce the separation limits and accommodating the aircrafts to more economical and environment friendly flight levels thus reducing the overall carbon footprint.

Need for Modernisation:

  • The air passenger traffic over last 49 months has double folded in India has brought several challenges with it, including maintaining safe and efficient aircraft operations.
  • In this backdrop, AAI has decided to draw robust roadmap for sustained ANS infrastructure to meet the growth challenges in a planned way.
  • By utilising global and regional best practices as benchmark technical help will recommend roadmap and implementation plan to AAI for improving airspace utilisation and implement CNS/ATM air and ground equipage in short, medium and long term.

Airports Authority of India (AAI):

  • It is a statutory body under the aegis of Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • It is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India.
  • It was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It also provides Air traffic management (ATM) services over Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas.
  • It manages around 125 airports in India, which include 18 International Airport, 07 Customs Airports, 78 Domestic Airports and 26 Civil Enclaves at Defense airfields.
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