Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs), manning the 2.8-million sq nautical mile airspace, which extends from Kuala Lumpur and Yangon in the East to Pakistan and Muscat in the West, are going to be less-burdened with around 200 new personnel joining the rank from next month.
These 200 ATCs are in the final leg of their training and expected to join duties from March, a senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said. The induction of these ATC personnel is part of the AAI plans to induct 600 ATCs by this fiscal to meet the shortage of manpower in critical areas such as air traffic management, he said.
“As many as 200 ATCs have almost completed training and will be put on duty from March. Besides, 400 more personnel will be recruited shortly,” the official said. “Mumbai, which has acute shortage of ATC personnel will get 65 traffic controllers out of the 200, while the remaining 135 will be deployed on other airports to meet the shortage,” the official said.
On an average, ATCOs at Delhi and Mumbai airports handle around 1,050 and 800 arrivals and departures, respectively, per day. Government had last year said that there were nearly 1,600 posts of air traffic controllers lying vacant at different airports in the country while acknowledging that ATCs are at times under stress at airports having high density operations but suitable measures were being taken to address such situations.
Out of total sanctioned strength of 3,890 ATCs, the existing strength stands at 2,296, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had informed parliament in December last year. AAI owns and manages 125 airports, out of which 26 are civil enclaves and 30 are non-operational.