Sunday, August 04, 2013

Kota Kinabalu International Airport to get ILS 2014

KOTA KINABALU: A new Instrument Landing System (ILS) will only be installed at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) by the end of 2014, said the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

This means commercial and private aircraft pilots landing at KKIA have to use VOR (VHF Omnidirectional range) and the DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) to guide them for the time being.

A DCA press statement said the installation and commissioning of the new ILS was part of a project package that included civil and electrical works after an opposition member of parliament said the lack of an ILS had delayed landings to Malaysia’s second busiest airport.

But the department also came out to defend the usage of VOR/DME as it said the procedure is similar to ILS.

“This procedure, designed and certified by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), permits pilots to approach the runway even in poor weather conditions or at night.

“Similar to the Instrument Landing System approach procedure, the VOR/DME approach procedure requires the pilot to sight the runway by a certain height/distance from the runway to continue the landing,” the DCA statement said.

The department also pointed out that if the pilot was unable to sight the runway, the landing would be discontinued.

“It is a standard procedure practised worldwide and therefore certified safe to be used,” the statement said.

Some commercial pilots have confirmed that there has been delays because the ILS was not commissioned in the KKIA.

As a regulator, the DCA said it would not certify KKIA for operational use if the facilities did not fulfil the safety requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations.

The DCA also said the lack of ILS should not be compared to the Asiana plane crash at the San Francisco airport last month, noting “suggesting that a similar accident can occur can be very misleading as the causal factors at every accident vary ranging from physical layout of the airport, procedures, the equipment and people”.