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Do you think Indian ATC is doing enough to reduce RT congestion in the skies ?
THE KOLKATA SKY RIDERS - Thirty Seventh Issue, March 2013
In India, it was in 1985, that women stepped into the stream of Air Traffic Control, which till then was a man’s domain. Between 1985 & 1989; two women were recruited as ATCOs, but unfortunately both of them left the department soon after. In 1989, 2 more women were recruited- Ms. Aryama Sanyal&Ms.Paridhi Dhasmana .Ms. Aryama Sanyal joined Kolkata Airport and Ms. Paridhi joined Delhi Airport in the year 1990. Thus Ms. Aryama Sanyal is the first Lady ATCO to join Kolkata Airport. Soon after, Ms. Shamily Haldar also joined Kolkata Airport. During this period , women doing Night duty in India was not very common. Thanks to the determination of Ms. Sanyal &Ms.Haldar; and the support from their family members; they continued to work as ATCOs and thus became the role models for other women ATCOs to come.In the following years, many more women ATCOs were recruited and posted at various airports of the country.

Initially in the work place also, there were certain apprehensions regarding the efficiency & capacity to face contingencies by the women ATCOS. Due to the high octaves of voice as compared to men, women’s voice on R/T are said to be more clear and hence more easy to understand. The intellectual nature of work of an Air traffic controller, and the discipline and the team work demanded by the job; found that the women who by their very nature are organized, made good air traffic controllers. Slowly, women acquired the confidence of people within the department as well as of the pilots.

Ms. Aryama Sanyal was the first woman ATCO to have taken Area control rating in India. She acquired area control rating for Kolkata Airport in the year 1991.
Currently, there are 14Women ATCOs at Kolkata. Though it forms only 7% of total ATCOs at Kolkata, the women ATCOs in India have strongly made their presence felt, and have proved their efficiency.
Ms. Shyamily Haldar served Ranchi Airport as the ATC in Charge from 1997 to 2012. During her tenure at Ranchi, she has immensely contributed to the development of Ranchi airport, and has also taken part in CSR activities. Her contribution to the implementation of Automation system at Ranchi is remarkable.
Ms. Purbita Thakur Sinha& Ms. Mohuva B Adhikary were posted as Instructors at Civil Aviation Training College at Allahabad, which is the premier institute of India for training and molding ATCOs. Smt. PurbitaTakurSinha is currently the training In charge of Kolkata, and is thus the first lady ATCO to hold such a responsible post in any metro airport of the country. Purbita is a team member for implementation of Automation system at Kolkata.
Smt. Kala P Nair, has served as the ATC- charge of Cochin. During her tenure at Cochin, she worked hand in hand with theQuovadis (a subsidiary of Airbus industries) in the year 2010 to design and finalise the RNP based PBN procedures. Cochin is the first airport of the country were RNP-1 based PBN procedures with BARO-VNAV approach is implemented.She played a very active role in the laying the groundwork for the installation of automation system at Cochin, and was actively associated with the establishment of lower area control centre at Cochin. Smt. Kala P Nair is currently the Nodal officer for the establishment of Lower area control centre at Patna, Bhubaneswar & Agartala airports; as a part of the restructuring and Upper airspace harmonization of Kolkata FIR airspace.
Ms. Nima Lama is an instructor at Kolkata Airport, and imparts training to the new ATCOs to bring them to the sufficient level of expertise to handle ATC duties.
The role played by the women ATCOs of Kolkata in the various developmental activities happening in the ATM discipline is worth mentioning.Though the number of women who had joined the profession of ATC is not significant when compared with their male colleagues,their contribution is definitely significant.
On the occasion of International Womens’ day, I take this opportunity to greet all my sister colleagues in Kolkata and other airports.Come,let us all carve our dreams into our work for a better tomorrow,a better aviation.
Contributed by Smt. Kala P Nair. D.G.M. ATM. Kolkata