Tue, Jan 03, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Taoyuan airport runway expected to reopen soon

Staff Writer, with CNA

The north runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is expected to reopen on Sunday after being closed for more than three months for repairs, Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC, 桃園國際機場公司) said yesterday.

The completion of work on the aging runway and taxiway had been a high priority because they will be needed to help handle a surge in traffic, the company said.

The airport is expected to see sizable increases in flights over the coming weeks as Taiwanese based abroad — particularly in China — return to vote in the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections or come back for the Lunar New Year holiday, which begin on Jan. 21.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration will conduct takeoff and landing tests and inspect all aspects of the work before it decides whether to allow the runway and taxiway to open, TIAC said.

The north runway was closed on Sept. 15 last year for repairs that were expected to be completed by Dec. 13, but work was delayed by nearly a month when the contractor in charge of the project went bankrupt.

The airport needed to hold three tenders before RSEA Engineering Corp (榮民工程) finally won the contract on Nov. 20.

Media reports speculated that few companies were willing to bid for the job because of the Jan. 8 deadline and RSEA Engineering has been forced to work around-the-clock to meet the schedule.

The preliminary rehabilitation of the north runway is part of an overhaul of the airport’s two runways and other taxiways scheduled to be completed by 2014. The government allocated NT$10.7 billion (US$356 million) last year for the project.

The airport’s north and south runways have been in service for decades and are no longer able to meet the increasing demand expected over the next 20 years.

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