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Saturday, January 19, 2013

IAF gears up to make Aero India better, safer

By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Preparations for the 9th edition of International Exhibition on Aerospace, Defence and Civil Aviation (Aero India 2013) have entered the last phase at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Yelahanka, Bangalore. In an interview to Express, Air Marshal Rajinder Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, IAF, said that with barely three weeks left for the show, over 500 air warriors are ready to make the show bigger and better. “More than 27 countries are participating in the show. In addition, official delegations from 78 countries are expected during the 5-day show, starting on February 6. Our preparations began in September 2012 and the activity levels are at its peak now,” Rajinder Singh said.
Air Marshal Rajinder Singh
The show-stoppers include the Global 6000; Pilatus PC-7 (IAF's new Basic Trainer Aircraft), the C-130J and the Mi-17 V5 chopper. “The Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, Chinook and AW-101 helicopters are also participating in the show. This time we have a space pavilion and we are expecting the footfalls to increase , “ he said.
The Air Marshal said that based on his past experience of handling the show, the IAF has refined every SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), including disaster management, fire and aerospace safety. “The co-ordination meetings with stakeholders have been held to further streamline procedures and professional conduct of the show,” he said.
He said the IAF would also be showcasing the rapid strides made not only in modernisation of its combat fleet, but its transition from the antique bi-plane -- Tiger Moth (the first trainer aircraft) -- to the ultramodern Pilatus PC-7 Mk II.
Bird menace: With safety being the top priority for IAF, Rajinder Singh said that all out efforts have been made to contain bird activity, creating a conducive flying environment. “The Karnataka government has taken steps to contain catfish farming in the areas surrounding Yelahanka. We will also undertake bird reconnaissance sorties and have regular inputs from the Ornithology Cell, that studies bird habitats on airfields and surrounding areas to further reduce the bird menace,” he said.
Security: He said the anti-hijack, anti-terror and mass casualty evacuation are already place. “The security grid will be bolstered with Special Forces. Personnel from the NDRF, CISF, RAF and Karnataka government are closely associated with the plans. Various SOPs will be tested for their efficacy prior to show,” Rajinder Singh said.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

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