Wednesday, November 26, 2014

To-Do List for the New APD at STV

Since the new APD, Mr. Pramod Kumar Thakre has just recently taken over the office of the - Airport Director at the Surat Airport, he might still be feeling the aftershocks of the buffalo hit at the runway, an incident which happened a few weeks back. In order to support the new incumbent, to ensure that he too may not become a "VICTIM" of this evil system and before many more bovine lives were lost any further;  we hence decided to shower upon the new comer with a few ideas, suggestions and a few words of caution and help him to make a To-DO List for himself to delve upon.

Why this check list...???

Simply, Simple: "It is better to make WALLS before, than get hit by a buffalo later" 
                           - A new Surti saying.

Here are a few points & suggestions of utmost importance and priority. Important enough & probably necessarily in the order of its listing. 

A To-DO List: NOT - "For your Eyes Only" but for your ACTION too.  

The To-DO List:
  1. Boundary Walls: First let us agree upon one thing; Barbed wire fencing technically does not construe to be a "wall". Period. Make Concrete walls NOT of bricks. Ensure deep foundation, for the wall to remain firm and not collapse like the previous one.
  2. Watch Towers:  Significant numbers of Watch Towers must be all around the periphery walls for the security staff so the ATC can blame it on them for not having noticed a 2000 pound bovine from the heights of the tower.
  3. Moats & Cattle Barriers: Cattle rod barriers are ideal for large gated entrances, so the animals can be restrained, since the police is busy stopping every Tom, Dick & Harry, asking where they were going, when the Only flight to the city is about to land & take off. Moats or Storm water drains in the interior perimeter of the boundary walls become a good deterrent for water logging on the airfield and can be handy to drown oneself in case of a buffalo-hit takes place again.
  4. CCTV & Flood lights: Just as you would NOT let the cable TV go blank in your swanky office keep the 'feed' ON for the CCTV too, particularly at close range of runways to catch hold of any "Paranormal activity". You might want to be very vigilant in this area particularly after the untimely death of the young bovine, rumors are that the spirit is all set to take another "go" at an aircraft. Sources say as fcat of the matter, Spicejet has discontinued all its services at the airport since the time they had this insider information of this 'evil-spirit'. 
  5. Service Roads: Proper roads/paths on the inside & the outside of the boundary walls must be maintained for security inspection and for the support of walls on soft soil. Another advantage of these paths will be that, in case of any animals that want to take a walk in the airport premises, can now be persuaded to do so, for a change on these "service-roads", instead of the runway.
  6. Door Metal Detectors: Yes we all believe in "Atithi-devo-bhav" yet no matter what, we need to have functional Metal Detectors at the entry door of the Terminal to thoroughly check each & everyone entering the building. Keeping in mind that one fine day, things simply decide to, not-to-work, in such situations, have hand held detectors too, for the scanning VIPs & the Mango people alike.
  7. Baggage Screening Machine: Please note that if you cannot operationally maintain ONE baggage screening machine then kindly arrange for TWO. Simply because they are used for the screening of bags are not meant for chest X rays as known to layman and which otherwise could endanger the safety of passenger & the aircraft. In case of a breakdown of such a machine (which is ALWAYS the case) & if you have a back-up machine; you will inadvertently refrain from signing up a prescription to the passengers asking them to have their bags checked at a Private Radiology Clinic instead, after their journey takes place.
  8. Aero-bridges & Escalators : Finally we have managed to get the Aero-bridges to the doorstep of the airport, doesn't matter if they were not up to the required specification. Of course it must have been approved by some numbskull & not by the Head of the technical department. Can't blame the poor HOD  who actually went 'out of the way' of his duty requirements and was looking for buffaloes on the runway; instead of checking the specifications of the aero-bridges.  Nevertheless, lets get them UP & running. Also, the escalators have been lying untouched as a virgin, do take a walk out of your cozy office to check if the "motor" for the escalator was installed or was it not included as part of the escalator 'deal' during the tendering process. Not your fault again because Tier-II cities may not have that level to have motors with their escalators. No worries. You may now have another opportunity and a reason to float another tender on this pretext.
  9. CRPF Security: In a worst case scenario ask for State Reserve Police Force or any other para military force available within  the state but NOT under GuPo(ગુપો). Simply because it is not their job and they are not trained and equipped for that. You might however want to retain their services assuming that they might actually be your solution to the buffalo menace, since they are good at beating the shit out of anybody & even make a buffalo, bleat. However, they should be retained Only to maintain an Airport - Police-Chowki within the airport premises on a permanent basis. Staffed and Manned, Always.
  10. Runway Restoration: Apparently the condition of even the village roads in the state of Gujarat have dramatically improved, why not the runway...??? For a bumpy ride we will use the facility at the Amusement Parks. Please do not be too generous to provide us with a two-in-one facility of a runway-cum-bumpy rides.  We can do away with a runway, FIT enough for a Boeing to land and take off, without the teeth clenching and having to wear crash helmets while landing at the airport.
  11. Runway Extension: Unless you are totally confused, do not play with the numbers and the difference between Feet & Meters. Runway LENGTH & WIDTH both needs to be extended for larger aircrafts and needs to be worked upon with a time bound and planned manner to remove the TWO flights Cap.....WTB(what the buffalo).......??? Since you have taken the charge recently with the event of buffalo-hit, allow me to clear the impression that the airport runway was not made for bullock cart racing on the eve of 'Eekadashi'. If you make the required changes even the airlines will have a change of opinion about Surat airport.
  12. Fuel Station: IF YOU made the rule. YOU follow it. Simple as it is. Just DO-IT. NO, we are not asking you to dig oil wells, just the prescribed Fueling Station is good enough. CNG gas stations by Adani's are not a solution, don't even think of it.
  13. ILS - Instrument Landing System: Yeah right......just so you know runways have TWO ends and BOTH the ends can be used to take off & land. Not doing so causes limitations (like the freaking TWO flight cap) for air traffic and causes Airlines to spend more on fuel during unfavorable conditions to land from just one direction. Hence ILS is a must on the other side of the runway too. On the hind sight if you can organize for a BSS (Buffalo Sighting System) too, it might just be handy....right...?? No kidding.
  14. Hangars: Covered hangar Sheds for Boeing sized aircrafts and Not make shift arrangements will encourage for overnight halts/flights for the city. Yes we know they have been there on the blue print, but having not referred to it even the blue prints have turned into rust-prints.
  15. Customs & Excise Office: A step to get International cargo like diamonds etc to be shipped from the base station and not through the "good-old" Mumbai. Trust me there is a dearth of business opportunities for CSIA then crib on this development, which rightfully should be provided here. 
  16. Cargo & Catering Complex: To enable airlines the advantage of making additional revenue this facility must be provided so the airlines are lured to connect with the city. And guess what YOU make the revenue too.
  17. Covered Visitors Car Parking:  A car parking is currently provided, however is of great inconvenience as it is not a covered facility, hence people avoid the usage of it and rather park under a shade on the main road, outside the airport, Causing revenue loss to the airport and the parking contractor. Remember if you tempt them with facilities with Value for money, it will be flocked.Trust me in case of the bovines visiting you again they might even prefer to "park" them here instead of getting hit by a rogue aircraft.
  18. Taxi / Rickshaw Stand: For any airport this is a MUST service to enable to use the services of  an airport, hence covered parking sheds should be provided at the airport to use them at any time of the day or night & in any weather conditions.
  19. City Bus Stand: Identify a location closer to the Terminal Building & create Covered Bus Shelter, for the mango people. Apparently even the tabela owners have now upgraded their Tabelas in order to lure the bovines to remain within. I am sure you have the reason to do a better job for the Mango People.
  20. BRTS Stand: The city is being 'blessed' with an extravagant mass public transport facility since awhile. It will be best that another public facility like a Civilian Airport  to provide a spot WITHIN the  airport campus for a public facility like a BRTS stand or Drop-Off /Pick-Up location, closer to the terminal building in a planned manner. It is good to act now, just in case the BRTS services runs out of funds and closes shop by the time you think of making one.
  21. PCO Booth: For access within & outside of the terminal building. Seriously....!!! YES no matter even if we are the largest cellphone markets in the world. It is a Public facility and does not take much to keep this available though it may sound 'Outlandish'.
  22. Speed Post & Parcel Office: Parcel Shipping & letter drop box facility. True MANY will say what is the use of this in the age of  emails. Remember we still have to keep our basics thorough and intact even while we take the leap in the virtual world.
  23. Rest Rooms & Drinking Water Facility:  A Fresh room & drinking water facility within the campus but outside terminal building is a must for escorts & visitors, who have no access to the Terminal facilities. I hope you remember the "Swchh Bharat" Abhiyaan by our dear PM.....right...?? It could be paid facility like Sulabh Sauchalay & Drinking Water fountain or Water Vending Machines for Visitors, & drivers. Yes you heard it right WVM's, because you are a public service and not sole selling agents for the manufacturers of the so called "mineral Water'. 
  24. Convenience Center: As a fact of the matter  there should be a 'Convenience Center', a complex with various shops, and eating outlets with facility of  sit down lounges along with other commercial establishments accessible the visitors. The current facility is totally inadequate and impractical too dreamt in the 70's made in the 20's but we are now looking beyond 2020. We hope your eyesight to this vision too is a perfect 2020. 

If you make it this far, then in the meanwhile you want to pursue these matters for as long term goal:
  • Acquire ALL of the allotted land for the second phase and expansion of the Airport for an International Category.
  • Float Tenders for the International Terminal Building and the Second runway.

The MOST important point from the above ALL is to do a FOLLOW-UP on these points on a regular basis with the help of this check-list that we just made it for you. 
See now you know why we made this list for you.

NO. No need to thank us but we certainly will thank you if you are diligent enough to keep the boundary walls intact(to begin with & follow through the list) and instead of bovines let airplanes move freely on runway 22.

The previous APD had a Doctorate to his credentials (yeah, yeah we know it is not the medical doctorate), however he failed in reading the difference in-between-the-lines of a "Proposed Project" and an "Approved Project". Hence we hope Mr. Pramod Kumar Thakre, now that you have this insight you have the determination to take the "BULLS" & the buffaloes, by the horns.

If NOT....????

I sincerely suggest, that on this weekend, you might as well pay a visit to the City's oldest market - "The Shaniwaari Bazaar" & just in case Saturday is not your day try the "Raviwaari Bazaar" too and look for a MAGIC WAND.   

Ooops.... sorry Dr. S D Sharma none of your elaborate social circle in the city suggested you the above option. Never mind, better luck next time. After all, don't we all learn from our past mistakes. At Surat YES, We Do, particularly after having put ALL our faith & TRUST in a 'friend' but ending up getting rammed by a buffalo it has shaken us up and our sense of judgement too.

The perennial question however remains; Will YOU including the new incumbent, now learn to ACT...??? 


Choose to just get 'lucky' to be posted at a hill station and live happily ever after.

Happy Flying..!!

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