Tue, Jan 06, 2015 - Page 3 News List

South runway opening this week

ON THE GO:The airport operator expects flight delays to ease up when the newly renovated Taoyuan runway reopens on Thursday for flight landings and departures

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

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.

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