Fog disruptions could soon be a thing of the past at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB). Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) – operator of the BLR Airport – has entered into an agreement with Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) to conduct a collaborative study on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the Airport. This study will develop a Numerical Simulation Tool capable of predicting onset, intensity and dissipation of fog. The outcomes of this study will come as a huge relief for passengers, flying in and out of Bengaluru during the winter months, when fog is at its peak. The Agreement was signed at a function held at the JNCASR campus, in the presence of Bharat Ratna Professor CNR Rao.
The JNCASR Team – led by Prof. Sreenivas – will conduct extensive Research & Development on the microphysics of radiation fog and transport processes in the nocturnal atmospheric boundary layer over the next 40 months, leading to improved weather forecasting at BLR Airport. Factors influencing the occurrence of fog, such as atmospheric variability, ground temperature, atmospheric aerosol loading, radiative fluxes, water vapour and energy transport in the surface layer will be monitored during the fog season and the preceding months. To ensure accuracy of the study, specific instruments, including a Wind Cube, Humidity Temperature Profiler, Net Radiation Meters, Total Sky Scanner, Data Acquisition Switches and Velocity and Temperature Probes would be set up at designated areas in the vicinity of the Runway at the BLR Airport.
Speaking at the event, Prof. Nagaraja, President, JNCASR said “JNCASR is pursuing and promoting world-class scientific research and we possess necessary ingredients and capabilities to support BIAL in this exercise that will not only benefit air travelers & airlines, but also data from this research would have several other uses over the long term. I am optimistic that JNCASR team led by Prof. Sreenivas along with BIAL will succeed in this endeavor.”
“Fog-related flight delays in Bengaluru have caused delays and diversions, inconveniencing our passengers during this season, as well as resulted in huge financial losses for the aviation industry. As the second fastest growing Airport in the world, BIAL’s aim is to provide facilities and amenities to make the travel experience both efficient and seamless. We believe that BIAL’s agreement with Professors V Nagaraja and Sreenivas and the team from JNCASR will enable the availability of data that would facilitate flight planning and scheduling, directly bringing in relief to our passengers,” said Mr. Hari Marar, MD & CEO, BIAL.
“In about eight months from today, we will open our second runway for operations. It will be CAT III B-compliant, with an advanced navigation system that empowers aircraft to land and take off under conditions of heavy fog. However, fog can still significantly affect operations, and, hence, the prediction of fog is very important to adequately support enabled aircraft to operate under low visibility conditions. With this in mind, we have approached Technical Research Centre (TRC) of JNCASR to undertake this collaborative research with joint funding,” Mr. Marar added.
Controlled laboratory experiments will be conducted to help in developing parametrisation of energy transport in the nocturnal atmospheric surface layer. Based on analysis of such data- sets, a Numerical Simulation Tool will be developed capable of predicting onset of radiation- fog over the airport region. The effort would also include indigenisation of critical hardware components required for weather forecasting. Once the Numerical Simulation Tool is developed, the Airport will be able to receive visibility information well in advance. This will further enhance the operational efficiency of the BLR Airport. The prediction mechanism will hugely benefit airline operators, who incur additional financial losses owing to diversions and lengthy delays.