Dehradun: The management of Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport has raised concerns about the unbated highrise construction near the airport without taking the necessary No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) from the Airports Authority of India (AAI). "People doing construction near the airport are not taking mandatory height clearance NOCs from the AAI. We have raised this concern with the district magistrate and the MDDA," said Prabhakar Mishra, airport director.
The AAI has an online application system, NOCAS, for accepting NOC applications for height clearance for structures such as buildings, masts, chimneys, and transmission lines. Anyone planning to construct a building near the airport needs to take an NOC from NOCAS. "One has to put the coordinates where the building is to be constructed along with other details into the portal. Within a month's period, the NOC along with permissible height clearance comes along," said Mishra. The construction beyond permissible limits is a safety risk to the flights taking off and landing at the airport, the official said, adding, "The issue was raised in the recently held environmental committee meeting as well." Significantly, 140-meter area on both sides from the center of the runway is a sensitive zone and one has to take the required permission for any type of construction from AAI, said the airport director.
Why is highrise construction near airports a safety risk?
Highrise buildings near airports can pose a safety risk in several ways:
They can obstruct the view of pilots, making it difficult for them to see and avoid obstacles.
They can create turbulence, which can make it difficult for airplanes to take off and land safely.
They can attract birds, which can pose a hazard to aircraft.
If a highrise building is hit by an airplane, it can cause catastrophic damage.
What can be done to mitigate the risks? There are a number of things that can be done to mitigate the risks posed by highrise construction near airports:
Governments can impose height restrictions on buildings near airports.
Airports can work with developers to ensure that new buildings are designed and constructed in a way that minimizes the impact on air traffic.
Pilots can be trained to be aware of the risks posed by highrise buildings and to take steps to avoid them.
The unbated highrise construction near Dehradun Airport without taking the necessary NOC from the AAI is a serious safety concern. The authorities concerned must take immediate steps to address this issue and to ensure that the safety of air passengers is not compromised.