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Do you think Indian ATC is doing enough to reduce RT congestion in the skies ?
BLAZING THE TRAILS - Forty Eight Issue, Feb-March - 2016
     This is an ode to a remarkable man, a true professional, who blazed the trails in aviation world and took Indian Air Traffic Control and Air Navigation Services to the highest glory in the International and national arena. A story of a common man from humble background to be the Messiah transforming the crowded Indian airspace into a safe, green and efficient airspace – all through dint of hard work, zeal and passion for Aviation Growth.
     Mr. V. Somasundaram, after joining the career in 1985 and getting baptized into ATC in one of the most challenging ATC centers at Mumbai, showed early signs of vision required for the mammoth task lying ahead. The budding ATCO showed tremendous aptitude for Air Traffic Control, an inquisitive mind for understanding the difficult concepts and grey areas in ATC, leadership skill in supervising subordinate staff, clear communication skills and more importantly an enduring concern for the fellow ATCOs .He exhibited an extra-ordinary sense of keenness in knowing and planning for future ATM .While the other controllers relaxed peacefully to the comfort of their home after performing arduous shift duties, Mr. V.Somasundaram labored hard beyond normal duty hours to apprise himself of the emerging concepts in Air Traffic Control particularly with respect to automation and global trends in Air Traffic Management.
     After working at different capacities and successfully accepting challenge after challenge in the course of duty, he rose to the highest position in Airports Authority of India, and became the first Member Air Navigation Services.
     He ushered in , with his unique leadership, an extraordinary series of achievements and glory for Indian Air Navigation Services. In the year 2012, Jane’s International Award for Operational Excellence, in 2013 twin ATC International Awards and in 2014 the prestigious IHS JANES ATC AWARD 2014 Award for its collaborative program in establishing the Arabian Sea-Indian Ocean UPR Geographic Zone through ASIOACG under the Service Provision category in Madrid, Spain on 3rd march 2014.
     An extra-ordinary moment of achievement had dawned in the annals of Air Navigation Services as Mr. V. Somasundaram, Member (ANS),AAI won the prestigious Bharat Ratna JRD Tata Award instituted by Aeronautical Society of India for the year 2013 for his outstanding contributions in the field of Civil Aviation in India among Aeronautic professionals.
     The ASI has been conferring annual National Awards in recognition and appreciation of outstanding contribution and achievements made in the field of Aeronautics and Airspace Sciences among the Awards instituted. Among the other Awards instituted by ASI, Bharat Ratna JRD TATA Award is given to an individual making outstanding contributions in the field of Civil Aviation. The judging panel for the Award included Dr Kota Hari Narayana rao and many experts in the field of Aviation and the Award was conferred on Mr. V. Somasundaram, Member (ANS) for his relentless pursuit in spearheading a team of motivated ANS professionals in the country for upgrading Air Navigation infrastructure/procedures/training towards enhancing safety and efficiency of aircraft operations . This is the first time that ASI has included Air navigation Services within the ambit of the Award category.
     The nomination titled “Blazing a Trail in the field of Air Navigation Services” portrayed Mr. V. Somasundaram’s painstaking efforts, passion and vision leading to the remarkable ANS achievements in the country over the years. He contributed substantially not only in improving ANS infrastructure in the country for enhancing safety, efficiency and capacity of the airspace but also towards seamless ATM and Global harmonization. The award is undoubtedly a fitting recognition for an individual who has transformed the crowded Indian sky into a safe, seamless and green sky.
     For the readers of we reproduce the nomination for you in the link below, as an ode to a great Hero of Aviation, a true professional. CCT also gratefully acknowledges the permission received to reproduce the nomination.
     May there be more and more such heights for the Indian Aviation, Indian Air Navigation Services.
Blazing a trail in Indian ANS
Collected by Team CCT

The Air Traffic Controllers' Day is on October 20, To celebrate most proudly the profession of Air Traffic Control, and fly together to new heights in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration with the entire Aviation Community, Air Traffic Controllers Of India and Partners in Aviation celebrates the ATC DAY with the vow to uphold safety and security in the skies.