Had a long flight from TVM to Chennai (12:30 to 2:30), marking the completion of my visit from Kerala. Had to rush back to office for completing a report.
There was an ATC (Air Traffic Controller) officer sitting beside me. She was sharing a lot of insights on the way flights are handled. ATC is the “Eye and Ear” of the pilots and they guide them as to how the flight needs to be taken off and landed etc. Some figures she threw to me are:
Chennai airport handles 350 flights (take-off + landing) per day while Mumbai and Delhi has 60o or so. That makes it approximately 15 flights an hour.
There are around 125 staff who work on 4 shifts (8 hours makes it tiring). Certain peak hours like between 8 Pm-10 PM, 6:30 AM – 8:30 AM are when the team of both shifts work concurrently.
Apart from handling the flight destined for Chennai, the ATC also handles flights passing through Chennai without a stop-over.
Phew !! I thought how people could day in and day out work on directing some one how to land, take off, queue etc
In the flight today, I met the GREAT PERCUSSIONIST IN CARNATIC MUSIC, Mr. Umayalpuram Sivaraman. Had a brief chat with him (though my music knowledge in next to 0, may be 0.01). Then when i followed up on his write up did I get to know the greatness of this person.
More about him @ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umayalpuram_K._Sivaraman