Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why a giant aircraft will fly past and not land in city any time soon

Chennai: It may take a long time before a giant A380 can land at Chennai airport as the current expansion plans have yet again hit a hurdle with Airports Authority of India (AAI) scaling down its demand for land from 200 acres to 150 acres after the state government expressed its inability to acquire that much land.
AAI had asked the government to provide 200 acres at different locations around the operational area of the airport to enhance its flight-handling capacity. Now, airport authorities have decided to drop their demand for land on either ends of the main runway. Additional space is required to improve Runway End Safety Area (RESA) which is now kept at a minimum and is also uneven. At airports in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the RESA is a rectangular plot double the size of the runway's width.
"After the state government requested to keep the land requirement to a minimum, we decided to drop the land needed on either ends of the runway. They told us that the areas were densely populated and would be difficult to acquire," a senior AAI official said. "We are looking at getting land on the Manapakkam-end of the second runway, some space between the main runway and the second runway for extending a taxiway and to build hangars and other facilities. The revised requirement has been submitted to the government," he added.
Though the main runway is currently being used for handling wide-body passenger and cargo aircraft, giant cargo planes, Antonov planes, and A380s cannot land in the future because of the shortfall in safety area and elevated obstacles nearby. The runway's usable length has not been curtailed but obstacles like the elevated metro rail line can make landing heavier planes a tight affair, said a pilot.
20/09/17 V Ayyappan/Times of India