Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - Page 3 News List

North runway to reopen ahead of schedule: TIAC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) yesterday said that it plans to resume operations of its northern runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Thursday next week after the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) completes tests this week.

Flights at Taoyuan airport use the southern runway, which was reopened in January after being shut for a year due to renovation work.

The airport was scheduled to reopen the northern runway on Jan. 8 next year. However, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications last week said that the runway could be reopened sooner than scheduled.

TIAC senior vice president Wen Yung-sung (溫永松) said the CAA is conducting tests on the runway, which are to be completed this week.

The tests are to ensure that signals from the instrument landing system on the runway can be transmitted reliably and accurately to guide aircraft, Wen said, adding that the tests have been successful.

“The CAA is to provide notification related to the outcome of the tests, and we can then get ready to reopen the runway,” he said. “We are aiming to resume use of the runway on the morning of Dec. 24.”

Wen said the number of aircraft departing from or landing at the airport would increase from 30 per hour to about 50 per hour when both runways become operational, allowing more flights to operate on schedule.

“Flight congestion is not necessarily caused by a limited number of runways available for use. It depends on whether other international airports have regulated traffic flow. Weather also plays a key role,” he said, adding that having two runways would enable the airport to meet rising demand caused by an increase in both passenger and cargo volumes.

The company said the percentage of flights departing on time — internationally defined as being delayed by less than 30 minutes — at Taoyuan airport could be raised from 85 percent to 98 percent when the two runways are in operation.

Wen said that the renovated north runway is a Category-III runway — the highest category — which would allow flights to land in much lower visibility than previously, adding that the exact visibility requirement for the renovated runway would be formally announced by the CAA.

Wen said the southern runway is a Category-II runway, which has a minimum visibility requirement for departing and landing flights of 275m and 300m respectively.

Wen said the airport has only 10 days per year with restricted visibility, adding that having two Category-III runways would not be cost-effective.

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