Guwahati, Tuesday, December 28, 2010
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Mobile operators violate aviation safety norms
 DIBRUGARH, Dec 27 – Mobile operators of all hues, from the State owned BSNL to private sector players like Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Reliance, Tata Indicom, and Idea Telecom have been fragrantly flouting aviation safety regulations. Most of the mobile towers do not have functional aviation hazard lights. Ironically, even the Doordarshan and All India Radio towers do not switch on the air navigation safety lights regularly. This phenomenon has been noticed in most parts of Assam, and the matter could hardly be any better in the other states of the region.

 In most of the cases, incandescent bulbs are used for air navigation hazard lights in the mobile, telecommunication, radio and TV towers. Those in the know are of the opinion that such bulbs often fuse out due to voltage fluctuation and other reasons. This leaves the lights inoperational most of the time. A better practice would be to install LED lights, which last much longer and are less prone to voltage issues, said a source in the Airports Authority of India. The sources said the matter is all the more important in upper Assam, as the Dibrugarh Airport would soon be having night landing facilities, which would trigger evening and late evening civilian and commercial flight operations. Even now, evening and after dark tactical flights are carried out routinely by the Indian Air Force, and the non-functional hazard lights on towers rising more than 25 metres from ground is a potential security risk.

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