Agra is a military airfield that allows limited civil operations to take place.
Owing to Indian Military sensitivity, Agra does not provide an AIP.
Arrival from the West: Standard arrival is via DPN, LETPU, PSIG and AGG.
Arrival from the East: Expect strict flight plan routeings via BBN KKJ to AGG with no directs (Point Alpha is AGG 120deg/100nm). Descent clearance (and release) must be given by Delhi and Gwalior.
A new ILS system has been installed for approach to RWY 05. Two versions of the initial approach are available; a 12 DME arc or overhead join above AGG. A back up VOR/DME procedure is available for RWY 05 using an 11 DME arc or an overhead join. No instrument approach procedures are published for RWY 23. Circling is available from RWY 05 using Cat C/D circling minima of 1440ft QNH.
Feedback indicates that when possible, ATC will normally clear aircraft to join overhead for a visual approach.
Radar is not always available, and usually only operates if the military are flying. If under radar, expect vectors to the overhead for a visual circuit, or to establish on the ILS or VOR. Expect radar vectors to an 8–10 nm final for RWY 05 at 2500ft, establishing inbound at approximately 7 DME.
Be aware of the likelihood of poor visibility. Typical Indian visibility of 2,000 to 4,000 metres can make a visual circuit very challenging. It is important to reduce speed early and consider positioning in order to observe the airfield for any non-NOTAMed work-in-progress. The weather is often hazy/smokey with conditions close to minima. A light coloured patch of concrete at the end of each RWY stands out well in poor visibility. (A previous crew reportedly held for 1 hour in the overhead while the visibility improved, despite being visual with the runway, as Indian authorities require a minimum of 3,700m before clearing a visual approach.)
RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES
Agra airport sits at 549ft amsl and has two runways – dual-runway operations are often utilised. The main RWY 05/23 is 10,500ft long and the shorter RWY 12/30, which intersects the main runway near its mid-point, is 5964ft. Both runways have displaced thresholds.
On arrival, the crew will need to provide proof of disinsection. In addition, the agent will often ask that a manual copy of the outbound flightplan be filed at the TWR. The paperwork process from this point until leaving the airport will be slow and frustrating so patience is required.
On departure, Indian customs require a crew decalation of baggage content; copies should be held by the Team Leader. This may be slow so allow at least two hours before departure to clear the bills and other paperwork.
Normally the agent will pay handling fees and landing fees, making administration matters comparatively easy. However, you may need to pay tax on any fuel remaining in the tanks. If day-stopping, it is advisable to leave at least one pilot at the airport to prepare for the next sector as it will take time to organise. Expect refuelling to take some time, as several bowsers will be required.