A young girl’s ambition to become a pilot starts taking form when she gets the opportunity to intern with the nation’s esteemed Airport Authority of India. Here’s what she has to say.
About Author: – Akanksha is a final year B.Tech student in Rayat and Bahra College of Engineering and Biotechnology. She is doing her majors in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She interned with the Airport Authority of India, New Delhi and shares her experience with us.
I did my summer internship at AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA (AAI). I found about this from my senior and applied for it. I went in there for a 4 week training program where I learnt about the Air Traffic Control (ATC). Since my major is Electronics and Communication, it was just the perfect match with my subjects. AAI basically provides air traffic services for domestic and international flights through their control, navigation and surveillance technology. Visiting all the units like Navigation, Radar and Very High Frequency (VHF) and getting to see all the equipments there was a very interesting and new practical experience after all that we had read and learnt about in our course books.
In VHF we saw the transmitters and the receiver setups and the voice control system got me acquainted with the communication system. All the commands we heard on the walkie-talkie started making sense as we heard the live conversation of a pilot and the officer operating in the offices there. We went up to the top where all the transmitting/receiving antennas were placed. From up there we could see the flights taking off and landing in process, the best view possible from up top! Then in the RADAR department we went to the Bijwasan Unit, New Delhi. There we were inside the tall building which had radar at the top which appeared like a football from outside. We saw all the radar set up and all the equipments (new and old) used there and their working. That was when all the block diagrams made sense and we could now design a block diagram all by ourselves with no need to cram, like we did until then. Also we were shown in detail the computer that was recording all the surveillance done by the RADAR. We saw the operations and controls of the system and all the graphics, maps, and position of flights on the computer screen. It was then when I saw so many objects flying in the airspace at the same time; not very far from where we were!
Then finally we visited the AMSS (Automatic Messaging and Switching System) unit. There we were guided by the Joint Manager Sir and he told us about the software used in computer and the different errors faced while operations. He also told us about the message coding, how it is done and how message is received and sent to the right person in the office. This Communication is the most important part. If done at the right time, it can save many complexities and the life of the pilot along with other passengers traveling in the aircraft. The knowledge of all the protocols, cables, communication exchange was provided by him and that wrapped up our internship.
Apart from all the learning, the guidance was what mattered here. We were lead by all the Managers in the respective units. They were all experienced and working there for years. There wasn’t much to do there for us; so we learnt the control on the standby computers and other instruments. Work culture was a really important part there which was fully taken care of. We were given a separate space to work and learn so that the operators did not get distracted. Apart from the internship and learning, I made a lot of fellow friends there. We had fun in the canteen area and roaming around exploring the small left out areas like the control room and the library. A different place for the Indian Air Force officials was provided for their operations. I aspire to be a pilot one day and hence it was the very experience I needed now for the course and later for life. This internship gave me a lot more exposure which I wouldn’t have got anywhere else but at AAI. This is my best internship story.