Thu, Jan 04, 2007 - Page 2 News List

CAA mulls transferring charters to Taipei airport

LONG OVERDUE Runway repairs at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that have been postponed for years will begin next year, lowering the traffic capacity

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Civil Aeronautics Adminis-tration (CAA) said yesterday that it was considering transferring some of its charter flights to Japan and South Korea that land at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Songshan Airport.

The proposal came as a result of the administration's decision to conduct a massive repair operation, scheduled to start next year, on runways at the Taoyuan international airport.

Currently there are two runways at the international airport.

The construction will only be carried out on one at a time, so that one runway will be available for air traffic as usual during the construction process.

The administration's director general Billy Chang (張國政) said yesterday that the repairs would decrease the number of flights the airport could manage from 50 flights per hour to 30 flights per hour.

Chang said that the administration would ask domestic airline companies to refrain from scheduling departures and arrivals at the international airport during rush hour.

If the domestic airlines are unable to do so, the administration will consider transferring those flights to Taipei Songshan Airport.

For the airport in Songshan to accommodate the demand, the facility in the airport's first terminal must be expanded, Chang said, adding that the Aviation Safety Fund would be used to pay for the expansion.

Chang said that the airport in Songshan currently managed the departure and arrival of approximately 200 flights a day.

The capacity of its runway would not be an issue, should it take over some of the charter flights from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Chang emphasized, however, that this did not mean these charter flights would land in Songshan permanently.

All the international flights will be required to land at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport once work on the runways is finished.

Regarding the exact number of flights that would need to be moved from the airport in Taoyuan to the airport in Songshan, Chang said the administration was still evaluating the matter.

The repair work on the runways at the nation's largest international airport has been postponed for years as the administration had a difficult time deciding how the construction should proceed.

The entire construction is scheduled to be completed in 2011.

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