Travelers can look forward to fewer flight delays after Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport’s south runway resumes operations on Thursday, Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) said.
The airport has been plagued by flight delays since Feb. 19 last year when TIAC closed the south runway for renovations, leaving only the north runway open for flight landings and departures and triggering complaints from airline companies and passengers.
TIAC chairman Yin Chen-pong (尹承蓬) said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee in Taipei that renovations had been completed and the south runway’s length has been extended by 300m to 3,800m.
Since it has been upgraded to a Category II runway, Yin said the minimum visibility requirement could be lower than the one currently used.
Yin added that both the north and south runways would be open for operations during the Lunar New Year holiday this year.
However, renovations on the north runway are set to start in March, Yin said, adding that the runway is expected to resume operations before the Lunar New Year next year.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said that with the opening of the south runway, he expects smoother flight operations.
“Last year, we only had the north runway, which sometimes had to be closed for workers to repair potholes,” Yeh said.
“The airport will have only the south runway operating after the Lunar New Year holiday, but it will offer better services than the north runway,” he said.
Yeh also told legislators that the ministry is scheduled to meet with Greater Taoyuan Government officials on Jan. 21 to discuss details of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis plan.
“The plan includes the airport and development of the land near the airport,” he said, adding that plans to build a third runway will not be changed.
However, land development in the surrounding area is to be carried out by the Taoyuan government, which is still re-evaluting the plan.
Yeh said that passenger traffic at the airport is growing rapidly and the construction of Terminal Three will take another six years.
He added that the airport is trying to expand the annual capacity of Terminal Two by 5 million passengers, with construction set to be completed in about two years.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or