Landing system ends fog woes

Runway at Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport has introduced a new category of Instrument Landing System, which became fully operational following certification from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on March 10.

A major upgrade over the Cat I and Cat II systems that were in use at Dubai International Airport, the newly certified CAT IIIA Instrument Landing System (ILS) enables a pilot to land even with visibility as low as 200 metres. Dubai international airport is the first CAT IIIA compliant airport in the region, including the subcontinent.
Welcoming the certification from GCAA, UAE’s federal authority, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), and chairman of Dubai Airports said ,“It is a big achievement for Dubai Airports and will positively impact our operations at Dubai International. Disruption or diversion of flights due to low visibility is a major inconvenience for passengers and a logistical challenge for the airlines and airports alike. The new system will translate into great benefits for the passengers, airlines and Dubai International airport by enabling low visibility operations.”
The new category of landing system has been in use for some time at Dubai International according to Mohammed Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and CEO of Air Traffic Services (ATS). “We have been using the system for some time now; as a prerequisite for the certification from the federal authority we have tested it for 6,000 hours,” he said.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, “This technological upgrade certainly will go a long way in ensuring better services for our customers, both airlines and passengers,” he said.
“We will continue to assess our systems to determine the best possible upgrade requirements. While the new system, Cat IIIA, is fully operational, we will be working over the next few months to upgrade it to Cat IIIB. We intend to accomplish this by October 2008,” he said.
According to Griffiths, Dubai does not need a Cat IIIC which is a category that allows landing even when visibility is zero. “UAE experiences fog for only two or three weeks a year and it is not as dense as in Europe. The next upgrade (Cat IIIB) will enable us to operate in visibility of 50 metres,” he explained.